THE new year brought bad news for firefighters, with crews called to two bushfires north of Two Rocks on January 1.
The first, reported about 12.20am, burnt through about 8ha and prompted WA Police to help relocate campers in the Wilbinga Conservation Park.
The second, reported 13 hours later, was closer to Indian Ocean Drive and rapidly spread north towards Guilderton, burning through about 900ha amid windy conditions.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) managed the latter fire, calling in volunteer and career fire brigades as well as air support as it threatened private properties along Moore River by early evening.
Helicopters, including the Erickson air-crane, refuelled at Charnwood Park in Two Rocks, attracting an audience during the afternoon.
DPaW and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued emergency warnings for people to leave the Guilderton area about 5pm on January 1.
Although the fire was brought under control by the following morning and threats to homes downgraded, smoke advice remained in place as DPaW crews continued to mop up the fire zone this week.
Arson Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Craig White said officers yesterday confirmed the Two Rocks fire was started by flares.
Authorities said the cause of the second fire was unknown, but being treated as suspicious, and called for people to report suspicious activity in bushfire-prone areas by calling 1800 333 000.
For updates on fires, visit www.dpaw.wa.gov.au or www.dfes.wa.gov.au or call 13 33 37.
Two Rocks Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade is currently recruiting more members, for both firefighting and social roles. Visit www.tworocksbfb.org.au.