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Renewed push for information as Albany police hunt arsonist who started bushfire in Vancouver Peninsula

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Police are hunting an arsonist who started a fire near Whalers Cove on January 29.
Camera IconPolice are hunting an arsonist who started a fire near Whalers Cove on January 29. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany detectives believe there are still more people who were in the Vancouver Peninsula area on January 29 that can provide information in the hunt for an arsonist who deliberately lit a fire near Whalers Cove Beach.

Authorities have deemed the serious bushfire suspicious and last week put out an appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

Police say the fire was started near the access track to Whalers Beach Cove and they have already spoken to several witnesses or people who were in the area.

Nearly 50 firefighters were involved the serious bushfire.
Camera IconNearly 50 firefighters were involved the serious bushfire. Credit: Laurie Benson

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However, Sen. Sgt Drew Reeder said this week there was a renewed push for more information.

“Police would like to focus in on anyone that used the beach, was in a boat nearby or was in the carpark or on a walk trail at that time of day,” he said.

“All of that is of interest to us and especially any phone footage or photos.

Detectives and fire investigators at the control centre.
Camera IconDetectives and fire investigators at the control centre. Credit: Laurie Benson

“We believe there were people in the area that we still haven’t spoken to or who may have information that can assist our investigation.

“Anyone that was in that vicinity from 1pm to 3pm on January 29 is encouraged to come forward or call Crime Stoppers.

“Investigations have determined that the fire was deliberately lit, near the track to Whalers Cove Beach.”

The bushfire started about 1.40pm on January 29 and ripped through the Vancouver Peninsula near Camp Quaranup, burning 42ha before it was declared all clear by authorities five days later.

The fire quickly reached emergency level and forced the evacuation of 16 people from Camp Quaranup while others in the area at beaches or on walk trails rushed from the danger zone.

Several roads were closed during the fire and the Point Possession walking trail was also closed.

A shot of the fire from the Princess Royal Sailing Club.
Camera IconA shot of the fire from the Princess Royal Sailing Club. Credit: Cameron Newbold

Nearly 50 firefighters and two water bombers were used to help bring the blaze under control by late on Tuesday afternoon.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au.

Point Possession Heritage Trail starts and ends at Whalers Cove.
Camera IconPoint Possession Heritage Trail starts and ends at Whalers Cove. Credit: Laurie Benson

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