The bushfire which threatened lives and homes in Perth’s northern suburbs has been confirmed to be deliberately lit, with a juvenile taken into custody.
Arson Squad detectives are investigating the cause of the suspicious blaze, which forced people living in Kingsley to shelter inside their homes because it was too late to evacuate.
The out-of-control blaze was sparked about 3.40pm Saturday at Shepherds Bush Reserve near a popular children’s playground, and within metres of homes on Shepherds Bush Drive.
Shortly after, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued a bushfire emergency for the unpredictable blaze, warning residents it was too late to leave their homes.
Aerial bombers and fire fighters worked for several hours to battle the blaze, before bringing it under control about 6.25pm New Years Day.
A juvenile male was taken into police custody Saturday, but has since been released.
It comes after several sheds and a 100-year-old home was lost to a deliberately lit fire in Wooroloo last week.
The out-of-control blaze, which burnt through 167ha of land, was believed to be deliberately lit after a firebug started several fires in the area on Boxing Day.
The fire was sparked near the intersection of Old Northam Road and Government Road about 4pm before moving west, fanned by scorching temperatures and strong winds.
Residents were forced to flee their homes and evacuate before it was too late.
Over 250 fire fighters were deployed to the area to battle the blaze in scorching heat, as the mercury tipped past 40C.
The fire is also being treated as suspicious.
Arson Squad are urging anyone with information relating to the Kingsley fire, or who has mobile phone or dash-cam footage of the area around the time of the fire, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Information can also be reported online.
Rewards of up to $25,000 are available for information that leads to the identification and conviction of an arsonist.