Police hunt arsonist after homes evacuated

Firefighters inspect the car that is believed to have sparked an emergency warning in Nambeelup. Picture: Ray Raab/7NEWS
Firefighters inspect the car that is believed to have sparked an emergency warning in Nambeelup. Picture: Ray Raab/7NEWS

POLICE have called in Strike Force Vulcan officers to investigate a bushfire that came dangerously close to homes and forced some Nambeelup residents to evacuate overnight.

It is believed the blaze – which has so far burnt through at least 65ha of land – was sparked by a vehicle being set alight about 8.45pm yesterday.

While the fire has been downgraded to an advice warning, firefighters are continuing to battle the blaze today.

Meanwhile, police are reminding the community that rewards of up to $50,000 are available for information that leads to the identification and conviction of an arsonist as they ramp up their investigation.

“Anyone with information regarding this fire or who saw any suspicious people (or) vehicles in the vicinity of the fire … is asked to call Crime Stoppers,” a police spokeswoman said.

“Callers may remain anonymous if they wish.”

The burnt out car remains near Lakes and Yangedi roads where it is believed the fire started.

Some residents in the area between Readheads, Hopeland , Lakes and Nambeelup roads were evacuated overnight as about 80 firefighters battled to control the blaze.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services last night issued an emergency warning and advice, but that was downgraded this mornig as the blaze was contained.

Shire of Murray has opened a temporary evacuation centre at Murray Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online here.