A NUMBER of animals were killed in a 'devastating' heathland fire in the early hours of this morning.

Crews from Wareham, Dorchester and Poole fire stations were called out at 12.01am this morning to extinguish an area of heathland on fire at Winfrith Heath, near Dorchester.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze using main lines and hose reel jets.

A spokesman for Wareham Fire Station said: "An early start today as two of our fire engines have attended an area of heathland on fire near Wool measuring approximately 50m x 50m. The fire was extinguished using main lines and hose reels. We were joined by firefighters from Dorchester and Poole."

This morning, firefighters went back to inspect the area that had been burnt.

A spokesman said: " Fire crews inspected the devastation of last night's heath fire. We were joined by Dorset Wildlife Trust and sadly discovered a number of dead animals."