THE police and fire service have launched a joint investigation to establish the cause of a large heath fire in East Dorset which took around 90 firefighters to tackle.

Dorset Police was made aware at around 3pm on Monday May 3 that firefighters from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were in attendance at a fire in the area of Boveridge Heath in Verwood. It was the second heath fire in the East Dorset area reported that afternoon following an earlier incident off Hurn Road at St Leonards and St Ives.

Officers are carrying out a joint investigation with the fire service to establish the cause of the large heath fire in Verwood and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward after assisting firefighters involved in extinguishing the fire.

A police investigation has now been launched into the cause of the blaze, which covered an area of 12.7 hectares.

Inspector Simon Perry, of North and East Dorset police, said: “We are continuing to liaise with the fire service to establish the full circumstances and the cause of this fire, which has caused substantial damage to a large area of heathland.

“At this time the cause of the fire remains unexplained and to assist our enquiries I would urge anyone who was in the area at the time and has any information as to how the fire started to please contact us. I would also like to hear from anyone who was driving in the area on the afternoon of Monday 3 May 2021 and may have captured anything of relevance on dashcam.

“Finally, I would like to thank the fire service and all those involved in tackling the fire for their swift response, which prevented the damage from being even worse.”

Local officers will continue to carry out patrols in the area.

Last night it took at least 15 fire engines and a total of 150 firefighters to battle both heath fires in East Dorset.

Fire crews were alerted just after 2pm and the fires went on until well into the evening.

Area manager Damien Bence said last night: "Both of these incidents are incredibly resource-intensive and we are grateful to colleagues in Hampshire & Isle of Wight FRS for their support."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210069298. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at or call freephone 0800 555 111.