Stirling Times

Fire bug on loose

- Nadia Budihardjo

AUTHORITIE­S believe a fire bug has been operating in Star Swamp bushland after several blazes in recent months.

A bushfire that burnt through 2ha of the North Beach reserve on March 18 was deemed suspicious by Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

The fire started near the intersecti­on of North Beach Road and Marmion Avenue about 1pm.

A WA Police spokeswoma­n said the arson squad was aware of four scrub fires in Star Swamp bushland this year.

“The arson squad is investigat­ing the fires and a person was interviewe­d in relation to the fires,” she said.

“There was insuffi

cient evidence to charge this person.

“As with all fires being investigat­ed by WA Police that have not resulted in charges, the investigat­ion remains open pending any further informatio­n from the community.”

Stirling Deputy Mayor Bianca Sandri said it was understood there was a recidivist fire lighter in the area.

“There have been at least six small fires lit in the southern section of Star Swamp Bushland Reserve in recent months,” she said.

“The City is working with the DFES fire investigat­ion and analysis unit and WA Police arson squad to identify any persons involved.”

A DFES spokeswoma­n said matters relating to arson were to be dealt with WA police but confirmed recent fires occurred at Star Swamp on March 7 and 10.

Ms Sandri said the City was working closely with

Friends of Star Swamp Bushland to monitor the site during the natural regenerati­on process.

“The City is confident this section of bushland will naturally revegetate in the years to come with limited interventi­on,” she said.

“We anticipate a lot of native germinatio­n, which will replenish the area with native vegetation.”

The City is repairing fence lines that were cut for emergency access and cleaned up the temporary earth brakes used to extinguish the blaze.

“Some trees sustained damage during the installati­on of the earth break,” Ms Sandri said.

“These trees have been trimmed to improve the health of the trees and reduce their risk of disease.

“Vegetation has been placed on the mineral earth break to encourage seeds to fall and germinate in areas which were cleared.”

Anyone with informatio­n on Star Swamp fires is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestopp­erswa.com.au.

People providing informatio­n may remain anonymous and rewards of up to $50,000 are available.

 ?? Picture: Christine Curry ?? A fire at Star Swamp bushland.
Picture: Christine Curry A fire at Star Swamp bushland.

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