Charges laid over Three Bears fire

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Dunsborough Volunteer Fire fighters Mike Foster, Lt Phil McCormack and Stephen Boundy were some fo the first responders on Sunday preventing a fire disaster
Camera IconDunsborough Volunteer Fire fighters Mike Foster, Lt Phil McCormack and Stephen Boundy were some fo the first responders on Sunday preventing a fire disaster Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Jackson Lavell-Lee

A potentially disastrous fire was deliberately lit on Sunday at Three Bears track in Dunsborough about 8.30am, with four men charged with arson-related offences.

Five fire brigades, Dunsborough police and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions attended the escaped camp fire. Dunsborough Volunteer Fire and Rescue lieutenant Phil McCormack said he hoped the young men had learnt their lesson.

“If it was windier, within 20 minutes we could have been evacuating Sugarloaf,” he said.

“We’re really happy there will be consequences rather than a slap on the wrist because it’s such a serious matter.”

Four air response vessels (two planes and two helicopters) and 14 Fire and Rescue vehicles were dispatched to the “significant” fire.

“We’ve seen the devastation at Yarloop, Harvey, Waroona, Margaret River, and recently in Donnybrook and Esperance — that’s why we throw everything at it until we know it is out,” Mr McCormack said. A DBCA spokeswoman said lives and property could have been under serious threat.

“With high temperatures and strong winds, the fire had the potential to spread quickly in woodland and coastal heath,” she said.

This latest incident comes after the Times reported last week several spot fires had been lit by teenagers in the Yalyalup area.

The City of Busselton has extended its prohibited burning period until midnight on Thursday, May 14 and it could be extended further if strong winds and high temperatures persist.

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