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Bibra Lake bushfire: WA Police arson squad investigating whether flare in the area sparked bushfire

Lauren PriceThe West Australian
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Perth school holiday rite of passage Adventure World is in the middle of a bushfire warning area after a fire started in Bibra Lake on Tuesday.
Camera IconPerth school holiday rite of passage Adventure World is in the middle of a bushfire warning area after a fire started in Bibra Lake on Tuesday. Credit: The West Australian

Arson squad officers are investigating whether a bushfire that burned dangerously close to Adventure World on Tuesday afternoon was sparked by a flare.

The Bibra Lake blaze was initially sparked at about 2.20am in bushland on the south side of North Lake Road near Bibra Drive.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services extinguished the blaze, however as afternoon temperatures soared on Tuesday, the bushfire kicked off again about 2.40pm.

That escalation quickly prompted an emergency evacuation warning for people in the vicinity of Adventure World and Cockburn Ice Arena.

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On Wednesday morning, A WA Police spokeswoman confirmed that Strike Force Vulcan — part of the arson squad — are probing whether unconfirmed reports of a flare being seen in the early hours of Tuesday, is a possible cause of the fire.

“There have been unconfirmed reports of a flare being sighted prior to the fire starting at 2.20am, and Strike Force Vulcan investigators wish to speak to anyone who may have seen the flare or any suspicious persons in the area between 2am and 2.30am,” the spokeswoman said.

During the peak of the afternoon blaze, a DFES spokeswoman said the emergency warning was issued as properties were “under ember attack” as winds up to 20km/h were blowing burning embers towards Cockburn Ice Arena, Adventure World and Bibra Lake homes.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued an emergency evacuation warning just after 4pm on Tuesday for people in the vicinity of Adventure World and Cockburn Ice Arena. 
Camera IconThe Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued an emergency evacuation warning just after 4pm on Tuesday for people in the vicinity of Adventure World and Cockburn Ice Arena.  Credit: 7NEWS/ 7NEWS
Perth school holiday rite of passage Adventure World was under threat after a fire started in Bibra Lake.
Camera IconPerth school holiday rite of passage Adventure World was under threat after a fire started in Bibra Lake. Credit: 7NEWS/ 7NEWS

More than 35 firefighting crews were quickly sent to the scene to battle the flames as six helicopters and two water-bombers were above the blaze, dropping heavy water loads to stem its spread.

People in the vicinity were told to “shelter in place,” before the emergency was downgraded to watch and act advice just after 5.30pm and an advice alert about 9pm.

DFES said 50 firefighters and 20 appliances remained on the scene on Wednesday morning, working to build containment lines and extinguish spot fires burning in peat soil.

The fire burnt 9.5ha.

Anyone with any information relating to this fire, is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.crimestopperswa.com.au.

Any member of the public with CCTV, mobile phone or dash-cam vision of the above fire area taken between 2am and 3am, can upload the vision direct to Strike Force Vulcan investigators via this link.

Rewards of up to $25,000 are available for information that leads to the identification and conviction of an arsonist.

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