A resident has urged people to stop using disposable barbecues after she was evacuated from her home following the Wareham Forest fire.

As reported, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS), whose crews from all 50 fire stations from across the service have attended the incident at some point over the last week, said 220 hectares – the size of over 230 football pitches – of forest and heathland has been destroyed.

And Anna Shepherd and her family had to be evacuated from their family home in Morden Park after the fire starting flaring up again.

Ms Shepherd said: “The fire was in direct line with our house.

“We had to go on Friday. We have animals at home, I was only able to get one cat.

“With the whole coronavirus, and the fact people have lost jobs, I’ve lost a job, it’s another uncertainty.

“It could come back at any moment, we don’t know when it is going to be over.”

Ms Shepherd spent two nights away from her home, and stayed with her brother and sister in law.

And she wants people to stop using disposable barbecues to prevent a major incident like this happening again.

She continued: “The fact it started with a barbecue, it was entirely avoidable.

“A lot of people are travelling a long way to get to beauty spots like this.

“I have lived here for 18 years and never heard of a fire like this.

“Whether that is a reflection of the extraordinary conditions or brought on by the climate change, we need to be aware of not using these barbecues in the future.

“I don’t think they should be used anywhere, they’re just left. Even on the beach, people don’t put them in the bin.

“I am glad it is nearly over, I am hoping it stays that way.”

She added: “The thought of it coming back makes you feel very anxious.

“And the devastation to the local area, it was an unpleasant experience and entirely avoidable.”

Firefighters, not only from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, but also many other fire and rescue services have been working tirelessly together to try to bring this major incident to conclusion.

DWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Ben Ansell said: “This incident highlights how devastating and resource intensive heath and forest fires are. This has been made even more difficult by the weather conditions we have faced this week and the current social distancing guidelines in place.”