Police question man over fires

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Police are appealing for witnesses to several bushfires near Albany Highway.
Camera IconPolice are appealing for witnesses to several bushfires near Albany Highway. Credit: Kalgoorlie Miner

A 44-year-old Perth man suspected of deliberately lighting eight bushfires was apprehended hiding in a school classroom after attempting to evade police and crashing his car in Mt Barker yesterday.

Fire crews were called to respond to eight bushfires in a three-hour period along Albany Highway suspected to be deliberately lit on Wednesday afternoon.

Police are appealing for witnesses to any suspicious vehicles or persons where the fires began in locations between Dwellingup and Cranbrook between 12.30pm and 4.15pm.

A man was yesterday assisting police with inquiries into the blazes but was released without charge.

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Police say the man was arrested after allegedly attempting to evade police at around 4.30pm.

Police allege the man failed to stop and drove dangerously leading to him crashing his car and abandoning it on the grounds of the Mt Barker Community College.

Volunteer fire crews, police and a spotter plane from the Department of Parks and Wildlife searched the area before finding him hiding in a classroom at the school.

He was charged with failing to stop, dangerous driving, damage and excess 0.05.

Detective Sergeant Kris McDonald said a man was continuing to assist police with their inquiries and were yet to lay charges in relation to the suspected arson attacks.

DFES Great Southern Superintendent Wayne Green praised the rapid response of volunteer brigades in Boddington, West Arthur, Williams, Kojonup, Cranbrook, Broomehill-Tambellup and Plantagenet.

Mr Green said crews were dispatched along the highway to begin patrolling the area and were able to extinguish the fires quickly before they were able to spread.

Anyone with information relating to the below fires is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Pinjarra-Williams Road in Dwellingup

Wilkie Road and Albany Highway in Williams

Albany Highway and Crossman Road in Crossman

Wooldridge Road and Howie Road in Arthur River

Piesseville-Tarwonga Road in Williams

Albany Highway and Nash Road in Williams

Albany Highway and Tambellup West Road in Lumeah

Albany Highway and Climie Road in Cranbrook.

Rewards of up to $50,000 are available for information that leads to the identification and conviction of an arsonist.

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