Strike Force Vulcan – Results Of Season 14

2023-24 was the 14th successful year for Strike Force Vulcan with 178 bushfires investigated and 44 people charged.

The operational component of Strike Force Vulcan ran from 1 December 2023 to 30 April 2024. Strike Force Vulcan encompasses the state of WA and is led by senior detectives from the WA Police Arson Squad and police officers seconded from within WA Police. Strike Force Vulcan officers work in close collaboration with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).

In a Strike Force Vulcan first, four DFES staff who are qualified bushfire investigators worked within the WA Police Arson Squad office as part of the Strike Force Vulcan team. This worked exceptionally well and it is hoped this partnership will continue next season.

Detective Sergeant Chris De Bruin of Strike Force Vulcan and the Arson Squad said “The continued commitment to a dedicated taskforce approach, utilising both WA Police and DFES resources ensured a successful targeted approach to bushfire attendance and investigations by Strike Force Vulcan personnel during this busy fire season.

“The ability for a 24/7 ‘real time’ attendance at the majority of all major metropolitan bushfire events was invaluable in the success of identifying and charging numerous bushfire arsonists.”

During the season, Strike Force Vulcan officers attended and investigated 178 bushfires resulting in 44 people being charged with 181 offences. In addition, 38 juveniles were referred to the Juvenile Justice Team and the JAFFA program run by DFES.

Some of the main arrests made were in relation to:

• Star Swamp bushfire series – 8 fires;

• Jacob Ladder, Bold Park and Kings Park bushfires – 5 fires;

• Cockburn bushfire series – 2 fires;

• Ellenbrook bushfire series – 5 fires;

• Balcatta bushfire series – 6 fires; and

• Wellard, Kwinana, Mandurah bushfire series – 15 fires.

Bushfire arson is a serious offence and in Western Australia the maximum penalty is 20 years’ imprisonment.

The community plays an important part of a bushfire investigation by providing information to officers and Strike Force Vulcan officers wish to thank the community for their ongoing assistance.

/Public Release. View in full here.