Dorset forest blaze starts amid amber wildfire warning

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Image source, DWFRS
Image caption,
An area of forest 20m by 30m (65ft by 100ft) was alight when crews arrived

A blaze has damaged part of a Dorset forest after an amber alert for wildfires was declared in the county.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) said a large fire was reported in Puddletown Forest shortly after 11:00 BST.

Firefighters used beaters and water jets to tackle the flames.

Earlier this week, the service warned of wildfires spreading easily due to dry and windy conditions.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

DWFRS said an area of forest 20m by 30m (65ft by 100ft) was alight when firefighters arrived.

A specialist vehicle was used to dampen down the area to avoid the fire reigniting.

Image source, DWFRS
Image caption,
Crews from Bere Regis and Dorchester tackled the fire

Group manager Jason Moncrieff urged people not to light campfires or disposable barbeques in forests and heathlands.

"Whilst we understand that the lifting of some lockdown restrictions, combined with the dry weather, will mean people will want to go out and about, we cannot stress enough the importance of being fire aware," he said.

A major fire devastated 550 acres (220 hectares) of Wareham Forest last May.

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