Police say missing father-of-three Jordan Marshall was seen in the Margaret River townsite on Thursday afternoon as they continue a desperate search for him.
Mr Marshall has been missing since Wednesday with police holding serious concerns for the Fremantle real estate agent’s welfare.
A new photograph and CCTV images of Mr Marshall have also been released by police and appear to show him in a dishevelled state with a Mohawk hairstyle.
Meanwhile, police and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions continue to decline to comment on questions around how the out-of-control Calgardup fire, near Margaret River, started on Wednesday morning and whether the missing man had a role in the blaze.
A police spokesperson confirmed Mr Marshall was yet to be found after previously being seen near Mammoth Cave south of Margaret River on Wednesday morning around the time the fire was reported.
“We cannot confirm the allegations,” a spokesperson said.
“We still have welfare concerns for him and are seeking assistance to locate him.”
Multiple sources told The West Australian Mr Marshall was captured on CCTV at the Mammoth Cave tourism attraction and was confronted by DBCA rangers.
DBCA referred questions about the incident to police.
Specialist arson squad Strike Force Vulcan is understood to be on the scene and being led by Busselton Detectives.
The fire ignition point is within the heart of the inferno which has destroyed about 6050ha of dense forest, including the iconic karri trees at Boranup Forest.
Volunteers said the missing man’s vehicle was burnt out in the bush.
DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm said deployment of Strike Force Vulcan was standard practice.
He also said DFES had minimal knowledge about Mr Marshall.
Mr Klemm said he was not aware of any connection between the blaze and Mr Marshall, and that “there is no indication at this point in time that this has been a deliberately-lit fire or indeed that anybody’s missing”.
Mr Marshall was described as having a solid build with short brown hair and brown eyes. He is about 170cm tall.
Members of the public who have seen or have any information on the whereabouts of Mr Marshall have been asked to contact police immediately.
A close friend of the missing man said friends and family urgently wanted Mr Marshall to contact them and authorities amid fears for his safety.
DBCA incident controller Brad Barton said: “Increased bushfire behaviour is expected today as the temperature increases. This will produce more smoke in the area.”
“People are asked to avoid non-essential travel to the area.”
Water bombers returned to the fire at about 10.30am.
Police have asked anyone with information of the whereabouts of Mr Marshall to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at crimestopperswa.com.au.