A deliberately lit fire burnt approximately 40 hectares of bushland on Friday 16 January.
The fire began at approximately 6.30 am at the south-west Crawley end of Kings Park in bushland and took fire crews most of the day to contain due to high temperatures and strong variable winds. The whole park was closed to the public for part of Friday, and the Friday and Saturday evening performances of Shakespeare in the Park in the Botanic Garden and Moonlight Cinema in Synergy Parkland were unfortunately cancelled due to the potential public safety risks.
The park was reopened on 17 January 2009 (with the exception of Forrest Drive), and fire crews remained on site keeping a watchful eye on the dying embers throughout the affected bushland and scarp areas. No major infrastructure was damaged, apart from minor damage to the rock catch fence adjacent to Mounts Bay Road and considerable damage to the track surfaces through the bushland.
Police are searching for the arsonist responsible and anybody who may have witnessed suspicious behaviour in Kings Park, especially off a dirt track near Forrest Drive is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
It is expected the burnt areas will start to regenerate following the first autumn rains, and with assistance from BGPA staff and volunteers undertaking weed control, monitoring and some replanting if required, should return to good cover within four to five years.The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority is very appreciative of the collaborative efforts of all organisations involved and would particularly like to thank Fire and Emergency Services and their support organisations, Kings Park fire staff, the WA Police, the Department of Environment and Conservation, the local government Bush Fire Brigades, the City of Perth, the Salvation Army and the many volunteers who assisted during the fire and subsequent clean up operations.
In the case of smoke or fire being witnessed on any day in Kings Park and Botanic Garden or Bold Park, please call 000.