A BASSENDEAN couple are fearing for their safety after a fire erupted at Bindaring Park, which is next door to their property.
Resident Gerry Coleman said he and his wife were walking their dogs and spotted the flames on September 3.
“It was quite frightening to see the fire take hold so quickly, especially climbing the paperbark trees,” he said.
“If it had happened in a few weeks time with a westerly breeze I think we’d all be in a lot of trouble.
“Even though it had rained the day before, the fire took hold rapidly with flames climbing the paper bark trees from base to canopy in seconds and the official fire season has not even started.”
Mr Coleman said he believed the council sprayed ‘Targa’ weed killer at the park, which left the park in a “very volatile combustible state”.
A Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said DFES described as a tree, scrub and grass class one fire where approximately 60sq m of paperbark trees and grass was burnt. He said DFES reported the cause as suspicious.
Town of Bassendean chief executive Bob Jarvis said the fire appeared to be deliberately lit and the Town was in the process of undertaking weed management in preparation for bush rehabilitation works.
“Bindaring Park has been assessed by independent environmental contractors who provided comment concerning the condition of the northern portion of the wetland which has been classified as completely degraded,” he said.
Mr Jarvis said there were certain safety measures in place to keep residents safe from fires at local parks.
“The Town undertakes annual fire inspections to ensure all properties comply with the Bushfires Act 1954 and the Council’s Fire Management Practices,” he said.
“Prior to October 31 every year, properties of all sizes within the Town of Bassendean shall be cleared of combustible material from the whole of the land.
“All combustible material is to be slashed or mowed to ensure it is no longer than 10cm in height from October 31 until March 31 the following year.
“Living trees, shrubs, plants under cultivation and maintained lawns are excluded from clearing requirements.”
He said any variations of firebreaks needed to be authorised by the Town’s firebreak inspector and any variation should be for one year only.