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Sugar cane burning is incredible!

Yesterday was a day off, which didn’t amount to anything other than a hangover after a quarter- final World Cup win over Sweden in the early hours, so I spent the day resting and trying to wrap my pounding head around England being in a semi- final. 

Hangovers have never felt so good.

Later that day, my friend was phoned by his farmer asking if he wanted to see a sugar cane burning. This is something that happens this time of year. It is quite a sight, even from a distance. It is beautiful to see so many fires from so many sugar cane farms, from dawn til dusk. The flames are visible even from a distance. 


At 5.15pm, we jumped in a mini bus that the hostel kindly let us use and headed to the farm. Sadly, they started the fire earlier than scheduled as the wind changed direction pretty quickly, but the seven of us that made our way there were not disappointed. Here is what we saw as we approached the field.


The fire was intense. Even from a distance you could really feel it. By the time it was directly opposite, it was almost enough to make us back away.


I didn’t know how quickly these fires burned the sugar cane. It travelled up the field incredibly fast and to the height of a multi storey building. What was just as impressive was how fast it burned out. As soon as the fire reached the end of the field, the fire diminished and the roar of the fire stopped immeditely. It was like blowing out a match. Small fires continued to burn outside of the field where the farmer was igniting it, but the large fire was no concern. Campfire sized fires looked like they could be put out by stomping on them compared to the blaze before it.

17 days to go. I’m glad I’m still experiencing different things whilst I’m here and I hope to squeeze a little bit more out of Ayr whilst whilst I can. 

Have you ever seen a sugar cane burning before? If you get the chance, do it!

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15 replies »

  1. I saw this many times as a lad growing up in Zambia. it really is quite a sight. Noisy, hot and ferocious. One time there was sugar cane burning on both side of the road and we had to drive onwards, through the smoke and heat. At one point the visibility was so low we could not see out the other end. Thankfully nothing was coming the other way.

    Oh and the smell!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I was probably too young to be terrified at the time. Driving on dirt roads meant that sometimes you had to deal with huge dust clouds from trucks or smoke from fire blowing across the road. So the experience was not entirely new to me, but looking back, I can see how dangerous it would be. The incident I recall above was probably the most dangerous event because an incident would have meant being exposed to the heat of the fire. It was simply not an option for my dad to stop. It probably only lasted a few seconds, I’ll have to ask him if he remembers it as vividly as I do.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sam! That sights of that is incredible! Though, I’m curious as to how they manage it so that it doesn’t burn the rest of the lands away??

    I’ve nominated you for a 3 day, 3 quotes challenge. It’s really quick and thoughtful challenge where you share a quote that resonates with you most at this time. It’s completely optional, so take your time!! 🙂 I’m curious of your quotes, and would love to see what quotes have struck a chord with you!

    http://www.iwinta.com/2018/07/09/three-day-three-quote-challenge-day-1/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Winta, that is something I had to look up, and it seems they make sure they do it at dawn or dusk and when there is no wind to limit the chances of fires jumping to other paddocks. It seems this is a concern but hasn’t happened yet, although farmers have been known to die due to wind changes and being caught in the paddock.
      Regarding the nomination, I have never heard of it before so I will take a look. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

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