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Firefighters tackling two hectare blaze at Stoborough Heath
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- Firefighters are tackling a heath fire at Furzebrook.
- Ten fire engines and other support vehicles are tackling the blaze.
- Two hectares of heathland at Stoborough Heath are alight
- Wareham to Corfe road has been closed
And here's a video of the damage.
You can see the damage in the latest pictures we've been sent from Corin:
Here's some video footage of the fire taken by Justin Batstone on his mobile phone:
Station officer Richard Coleman said: “Initial reports came through that it was about two hectares. With this type of fire you don’t often find physical evidence to how it started but an investigation has been launched.
“The big reason it escalated was because of the wind. A wind-driven fire makes it much more difficult and becomes much more dangerous. We closed the A351 because the flames were getting near to the edge of the road and we needed somewhere to work from.”
We've just had a call from our reporter Jim who says everyone is leaving the scene apart from a couple Land Rovers who are damping down.
We've just spoken to Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, who said that there are fire breaks in the area of this afternoon's fire. They are used as part of crews' firefighting tactics, particularly in keeping fires in that area away from the nearby oil terminal.
And here's that video we promised:
The police control room told us the road fully re-opened at 3.41pm but we're aware our traffic feed still says that it's closed.
We're just loading some video that Corin sent over so we'll have it online for you very shortly.
Our photographer Corin Messer has just sent us this picture back from the scene:
There was a fire at Stoborough just 11 days ago. Arsonists destroyed heathland in a blaze covering two-and-a-half hectares. You can see the story here
This picture sent by Chris Gould, taken from Constitution Hill.
More buses are warning of delays: buses are apparently being allowed to pass the scene though.
Buses are being allowed to pass but delays are possible on r40 & Purbeck schools
Stoborough fire now under control. Heaths very dry. Take care with discarded cigarettes, ignition sources etc. Road to re-open soon.— @DorsetFire 13 March 2013
Large Heath fire #Stoborough near #Wareham. 70 ffs at scene. Police have closed A351 Wareham to Corfe. Avoid area.— @DorsetFire 13 March 2013
Justin Batstone has sent in this picture of the fire. You can send your pictures and video to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @Bournemouthecho or text them to 80360, starting your message with BE. Please do not endanger yourself or others or take unnecessary risks.
Police have closed the road between Wareham and Corfe Castle.
Stoborough Heath is a Natural England nature reserve. The Natural England website says:
The grassland was heath until the 1950s when it started to be used for agriculture. The area was declared a NNR in 1985 to reinstate the heathland, and in 2001 the site was expanded with the acquisition of Sunnyside Farm.
Management is essential in maintaining the heath's security and interest. Fire breaks are cut and maintained to combat the risk of fire.
Gorse is cut in rotation to provide habitat for nesting birds. Sand patches are rotavated to enable sand lizards to lay their eggs and to create habitat for burrowing wasps. Scrub is also cut to halt succession from heath to woodland.
Typical heathland plant species found here include the rare bog orchid, Dorset heath, white and brown beak sedge, marsh gentian, dwarf and common gorse.
Invertebrates found at the site include the rare wartbiter cricket, and golden ringed, ruddy darter and keeled skimmer dragonflies.
Local bird species include nightjar, Dartford warbler, merlin and skylark.
This pic of the fire was given to us by Greg Edgings on Facebook. You can see the rest of the set here
@Bournemouthecho fire appliances from Swanage went out just after 2pm— @fazanders 13 March 2013
Firefighters are tackling a heath fire at Stoborough Heath.
Ten fire engines and other support vehicles are tackling the blaze. Seventy firefighters are on the scene.
Two hectares of heathland at Stoborough Heath are alight.
Fire crews from Swanage were called at 2pm and extra fire engines from Poole have been seen crossing the chain ferry at Sandbanks towards Swanage.
Readers are reporting smoke and flames visible from Poole Harbour. High winds are believed to be causing the fire to spread.
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