On Sunday morning 12 January 2014, a bushfire started in the Perth Hills; it is believed the fire was started by a fallen power pole. The event took place within the heatwave of 8-13 January 2014; characterised by consecutive days over 40 degrees Celsius. Fuelled by excessive heat and strong winds, the fire quickly grew out of control, spreading from Parkerville to Stoneville and Mount Helena.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes, seeking shelter at centres set up in Mundaring and Swan View. Many residents were unable to return and assess the damage to their homes until 15 January 2014, when the extensive clean-up of debris and fallen power poles was complete. At 16 January 2014, 450 homes were still without power.
A total of 650 hectares were burnt.
One man died while preparing his home for a separate fire burning to the west in John Forrest National Park.
Financial assistance and grants were made to eligible Perth Hills bushfire victims; Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments of $399,200 were scheduled to be paid.
The West Australian government gave $1 million to the Lord Mayor’s Disaster Appeal and announced that:
- anyone who lost their house would receive $3000
- those whose homes were damaged would receive $1000.
Additional state and federal government funds were made available to cover the cost of clean-up for properties destroyed or damaged in the bushfire.
Early figures from the Insurance Council of Australia estimated damage costs at $15 million.