Girl, 17, charged with lighting election-day bushfire

Headshot of Elise Van Aken
Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
Firefighters respond to the out-of-control Wandina bushfire.
Camera IconFirefighters respond to the out-of-control Wandina bushfire. Credit: Liam Beatty/Geraldton Guardian

A 17-year-old girl has been charged with sparking the election day bushfire in Wandina that threatened homes and almost caused a polling centre to shut.

The fire emergency started on the intersection of Verita Road and Columbus Boulevard in Wandina, placing a number of properties under threat and causing roads to be closed for up to six hours.

People from more than a dozen homes were evacuated, with the fire coming within metres of some properties.

The girl has been charged under the Bush Fires Act with wilfully lighting a fire likely to injure.

Geraldton Det-Sen. Sgt Bruce McDonald said she had also been charged in relation to “a number” of other small bushfires on that day in Beachlands and Walkaway, but she was not under suspicion of being involved in fires that engulfed the old Blue Healers Tavern and Radio Theatre buildings

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She is due to appear in Geraldton Children’s Court on April 15.

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