Toodyay bushfire: a Bedford man has been charged with starting a blaze in Julimar State Forest

Toodyay bushfire: a Bedford man has been charged with starting a blaze in Julimar State Forest

A 41-year-old Bedford man charged with starting a bushfire near Toodyay on Australia Day will appear in Perth Magistrates Court today. Police will allege the man lit the fire in Julimar State Forest on Wednesday night, and then left the area without ensuring the fire was out after becoming lost looking for help with his vehicle.

The man was charged with breach of duty, no authority to drive, using an unlicensed vehicle and false number plates and was refused bail.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued a total fire ban until 7pm yesterday and Shire of Toodyay ordered a harvest, vehicle movement and hot works ban.

Fire crews and volunteer firefighters called out at 7.30am fought the blaze, which destroyed more than 615 hectares.

A bushfire advice warning remains for people between Bindoon-Dewars Road and Julimar Road, and near the western boundary of Julimar State Forest.

Drivers should use headlights in smoke and drive slowly through the area as fire crews continue to dampen down the area.

The fire started near the intersection of Hewitt Road and Northern Boundary Road in Julimar.

For more information, visit DFES online at emergency.wa.gov.au.