Rejuvenation of Kings Park bush burnt in blaze to be helped by public staying on paths

Kings Park biodiversity and conservation manager Steve Easton looks at the damage at the bushfire's starting point. Picture: Jon Bassett
Kings Park biodiversity and conservation manager Steve Easton looks at the damage at the bushfire's starting point. Picture: Jon Bassett

BUSH rejuvenation will be helped by the public staying on route in the part of Kings Park damaged in a suspicious blaze east of Thomas Road, Subiaco last Tuesday.

“The burnt 16ha is 5 per cent of the park’s bush, and the bush around it has a lot of unburnt area that will help, but the best thing to do is not use the tracks through it so there’s a good opportunity for new fauna and flora to come in,” Kings Park and Botanic Garden biodiversity and conservation manager Steve Easton said.

Firefighters and water bombers tackled the bushfire for about 12 hours after it started about 1am south-west of the Lottery West Family Area.

Police continue to search for a suspected perpetrator because the starting point was near one of the walking tracks.

Mr Easton said the last significant bushfires on the west side of the park, along Thomas Street, were in December 2008 and February 2009.

The first signs of new life after the most recent fire may be grass trees and zamia emerging in the stand of mixed Banksia and eucalypt trees in coming weeks.

The biggest threat would be weeds, invasive species and bulbous plants, like freesias, which the park and garden staff will fight with an initial five-year restoration plan that could extend to 10 years, depending on the speed of the bush’s return.

“We ask people to just stick to the tracks as the bushland is very sensitive to trampling, and weed seeds on boots can be an issue,” Mr Easton said.

A safety audit of burnt branches and trunks near the paths is being conducted by park staff.

Detectives from the Arson Squad’s Strike Force Vulcan asked those with any information about the fire, suspicious people or vehicles, to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online.

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