A bushfire in Joondalup on Monday 14 March 2016 has caused the evacuation of the ECU Joondalup campus and damaged 2 buildings. More than 500 people were evacuated from the university and a student accommodation and childcare centre buildings. It is alleged that the fire started when a camper in the Lake Joondalup Nature Reserve used a cigarette lighter to clear an area for his tent. The man has since been charged by police and will front the Joondalup Magistrates Court next month.
The fire became out of control and spread to about 12 hectares of land at around 3pm, causing about $200,000 in damage. Around 80 firefighters attended the blaze, with 6 firefighters requiring medical attention for heat exposure and exhaustion. The bushfire was only contained at around 10:30pm due to the difficult conditions. The temperature in Perth that day almost reached 40C.
There was also a fire at Meelon, south of Perth, where there is a threat to lives and homes after more than 1000 hectares was burnt. That bushfire was attended to by over 220 firefighters and still continues to burn and pose a risk to residents. Some Western Power infrastructure was also damaged. Arson is the suspected cause of that fire.
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