Police offer $25,000 reward for info on Dunsborough bushfire arsonist

A bushfire burns near Eagle Bay-Dunsborough in WA's South West. Photo: DFES/Matt Muir.
A bushfire burns near Eagle Bay-Dunsborough in WA's South West. Photo: DFES/Matt Muir.

Police have offered a $25,000 reward for information on the cause of this week's Dunsborough bushfire, which is being treated as suspicious.

The fire which has blazed through 225 hectares of bushland and caused hundreds of residents and tourists to evacuate this week is believed to have started in dense bushland in the Meelyup regional park.

Strike Force Vulcan officers are working together with Busselton Detectives to investigate the cause of the blaze, which started at about 8.05pm on Monday 10 January 2022.

Strike Force Vulcan is a Police taskforce specifically set up to investigate arsonists or 'firebugs' during the fire season.

Detective Sergeant Chris De Bruin said while the fire may not have been deliberately started, it's location by the coast and the golf cause meant that police were treating it as human-caused.

"There's no other way for the fire to have started other than by human cause," Sergeant De Bruin said.

Investigators are urging anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Meelyup Regional Park between Old Dunsborough town site and Castle Rock Road between 6pm and midnight on 10 January 2022, to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au.

Police are offering the money reward for any information that leads to the identification and conviction of an arsonist.

The bushfire has caused minor damage to one property, but has otherwise been contained to bushland by firefighters.

City of Busselton community emergency services manager Blake Moore confirmed the fire is now controlled and contained within firebreaks around it's perimeter, however some flare ups are continuing amid changing weather conditions.

Emergency response crews are now in the "mop-up" phase, inspecting roads in the area in preparation for them to re-open.

Cape Naturaliste Road and Eagle Bay Road are now open and residents can return to their homes in Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay.

Meelup regional park, Meelup Road and Cape Track remain closed while the bushfire continues in this area.