FIREFIGHTERS tackled yet another deliberate heath fire in Dorset last night. 

The fire service said it had 31 calls come through initially regarding the fire off Higher Blandford Road, behind Corfe Hills School, shortly after 7.30pm on Tuesday, April 9. 

Around 40 firefighters attended along with 10 fire engines and vehicles from stations based in Poole, Wimborne, Hamworthy, Westbourne, Redhill, Ferndown and Bere Regis. 

Resident Lucy Stafford said: "My garden backs onto the trail way path/heath of Corfe Hills heathland. 

"As I was driving down the road I could see the black thick smoke and the flames upon the hill of the heath. 

"The fire is about 30 second walk from my back garden - it's very scary.” 

Residents were told to avoid the area by the authorities. Meanwhile there was a road closure of Higher Blandford Road while the fire was extinguished. 

Two hectares of heathland was extinguished using two main lines, hose reel jets, beaters and off road vehicles. 

A cause is not yet known but it is believed to have been deliberately started and the police are now investigating.

Broadstone councillor Vikki Slade said: “I wouldn’t want to speculate but it hasn't been dry hasn’t it. 

“There have been at least three on Bourne Valley in the last week as well. I will be engaging with the fire education team to see what they are doing alongside Dorset Police with schools.” 

Dorset Echo: Charred heathland this morningCharred heathland this morning (Image: Zoe Montgomery)

Dorset Echo: Fire damageFire damage (Image: Zoe Montgomery)

A spokeswoman for Dorset Police said: "We received a report at 8.04pm on Tuesday 9 April 2024 from the fire service requesting assistance with road closures following a heath fire in the Higher Blandford Road area of Poole.

"The fire was extinguished and roads reopened at around 9.15pm. It is believed the fire may have been started deliberately.

"Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team are aware and enquiries into the incident are ongoing."

DWFRS' spokeswoman added: "Crews from Poole (x3), Wimborne (x2), Westbourne and Redhill Park attended the incident along with small 4x4 pumping appliances from Wimborne, Poole and Hamworthy, and a water carrier also from Poole attended.

"The incident involved approximately two hectares of heathland, well alight. Firefighters used main lines, hose reel jets and beaters to extinguish the fire and our stop was in at 8.59pm.

"Several crews remained to dampen down but we had left the scene by 9.30pm."

Over the weekend, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to five deliberately started heath fires across Bourne Valley Nature Reserve, Talbot Heath and Turbary Common. 

Another DWFRS spokesperson said: "These avoidable fires can devastate our beautiful countryside and wildlife whilst also tying up many of our resources, potentially impacting our response to other emergencies.

"Please, help us keep our open spaces safe by remembering: Don’t BBQ on heathland. Take your litter home. Dispose of smoking materials responsibly. If you see a fire, dial 999."