Firefighters tackle a “significant” fire on a heathland in Dorset.
The Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said it attended the incident on Canford Heath in Poole on Saturday afternoon after the fire was “driven” by high winds.
Scenes on social media showed huge orange flames covering a vast area of rural land and thick smoke billowed into the air.
Canford Heath is renowned for being the largest heath area in Dorset and the largest lowland heath area in Britain.
It is an Area of Special Scientific Interest and part of the Dorset Heatlands Special Protection Area.
Roads were closed around the area and firefighters and police worked to put out the blaze.
The Fire Service said on Twitter: “Unfortunately we are dealing with a significant fire at #CanfordHeath.
“Our firefighters are working hard to get the fire under control as it is being driven by the strong winds. Please all hikers, cyclists and onlookers can avoid the heath.”
Dorset Police said: “Officers were present to support the fire service and to keep the public safe.
“They left the scene around 4:30 p.m. Investigations to determine the cause of the fire are ongoing.”
Elizabeth Leddy, 28, from Poole, told the PA news agency there were several fire engines at the scene and roads near her home were closed.
She added: “The flames were about to spread into the roadside trees at the junction of Canford Heath Road and Sherborn Crescent, looking significant.
“The amount of smoke that came out was like no heather fire I’ve seen before.”
Another resident nearby said the “scary” fire meant she was stuck on her street.