Dorset coast fire destroys Studland heathland

Firefighters tackling Studland heath fire One firefighter was taken to hospital, suffering from the effects of the heat

Fire has damaged an area of heathland on the Dorset coast.

About one hectare (2.5 acres) of gorse and trees in Studland was destroyed in the blaze, which began at about 13:30 BST.

By 15:30, 60 firefighters from Bournemouth, Poole and the Purbecks were at the National Trust site off Ferry Road, near the Knoll House Hotel.

One crew member suffering from the effects of the heat was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Five fire engines, seven Land Rover pumps and an off-road fire engine were also at the scene.

Some of the emergency vehicles were transported to the peninsula on the Sandbanks chain ferry.

The fire was out by 16:30 BST but crews remained at the scene, damping down.

The area, visible from Bournemouth, is a site of Special Scientific Interest.

The fire service said it was the first major heath fire of the summer.

An investigation into the cause is under way but a spokesman said the fire may have been started deliberately.

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