Train suspected of sparking big bushfire as residents flee
Incident Control Centre units and other firefighting equipment rushed to Morangup Community Centre to fight a big bushfire that started near Cobbler Pool on January 30 and burnt out of control for two days.
POLICE are investigating whether a passing train sparked a big bushfire which caused dozens of Toodyay residents to flee their homes to safety at the end of last month.
The fire was first reported at 4.45pm on Monday January 30 in the Cobbler Pool area after a series of hot days and total fire bans.
Multiple ignition points were reported along the east-west rail link between Cobbler Pool and West Toodyay.Read more
All Toodyay volunteer fire brigades were quickly called out, followed by about 200 firefighting units from surrounding shires and Perth.
The full-scale emergency included use of continuous streams of firefighting helicopters and aerial water bombers.
The bushfire burnt out of control for two days but light winds enabled it to be contained without damage to homes, crops or livestock.
A small amount of grazing land was reportedly burnt out.
The fire was contained by Tuesday night and mopping up and further containment is due to continue well into this month.
Volunteer firefighters remained wary that fresh winds may cause it to flare up again.
No forced evacuations were required but the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services warned residents in the Cobbler Pool area and parts of Julimar, West Toodyay and Coondle to be prepared to leave their homes or defend their properties.
An evacuation centre was set up at Toodyay’s Memorial Hall on the first night of the fire.
About 15 people attended in the early evening but left for dinner and did not return.
The evacuation centre was closed at about 2am after most residents returned to their homes or spent the night elsewhere.
WA’s Strike Force Vulcan police arson squad is investigating the cause of the fire and urges anyone with information to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.