Firefighters battle wall of FLAMES that scorched 620-acre beauty spot

Wall of FLAMES turns 620-acre Dorset beauty spot into scorched wasteland after 100 firefighters battle overnight

  • More than 100 firefighters were called to deal with the flames after the fire broke out in Cranford Heath, Poole
  • A 330-yard wall of flame tore through the heathland, causing people living in homes nearby to be evacuated
  • Dorset Fire and Rescue said it was ‘driven by strong winds’, with one station saying it was the largest ‘for years’
  • Images show flames covering acres of land, while aerial footage shows how close it was to people’s homes

Firefighters in Dorset have battled the largest moorland fire ‘for years’ after a blaze tore through 620 acres of a beauty spot yesterday.

More than 100 firefighters were called to Cranford Heath after an inferno ‘driven by strong winds’ scorched the nature reserve near Poole on Saturday afternoon.

A 330-yard wall of flame was seen ploughing through the picturesque heathland, while people living in homes nearby were evacuated. 

Dramatic images from the scene show fire crews dealing with the flames while smoke pours into the sky.

Crowds of people living near to the heathland gathered to see the flames, as firefighters fought for hours to get it under control. 

Firefighters have described the fire as one of the largest ‘for years’, as 36 fire crews were called to deal with the raging inferno

The blaze broke out in Cranford Heath, near Poole, on Saturday afternoon, with flames tearing across the dry moorland

The wall of fire spread along the hillside habitat, at times resembling an erupting volcano in this picturesque piece of countryside 

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said it took crews from across three counties to get the fire under control by 10pm last night. 

Aerial photos from this morning revealed the charred remains of the heathland while also showing it was metres away from people’s homes. 

Elizabeth Leddy, 28, from Poole, told the PA news agency: ‘The amount of smoke pluming out was like no Heath fire I’ve seen before.’ 

In a tweet late on Saturday night, Ferndown Fire Station said: ‘Both our pump and Land Rover were sent to Canford Heath this afternoon for what’s probably the largest fire in this location for a number of years.

‘At it’s height there were 15 pumps, four water carriers and six off-road Land Rovers.’

The aftermath of the fire this morning shows large swathes of land charred black by the flames, with this aerial view showing how close it got to a residential area 

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Unfortunately, we’re dealing with a significant fire on Canford Heath.

‘Our firefighters are working hard to get the fire under control as it’s being driven by the strong winds. Please can all walkers, cyclists and onlookers avoid the heath.’

Four hours later the service confirmed it had got the fire under ‘surrounded and under control.

It said: ‘Please be aware that the road closures will remain in place and whilst our presence at this incident will be reducing, a number of resources will remain on scene overnight checking for hotspots.’

Flames could be seen leaping into the night sky as the fire destroyed 620 acres of land in the nature reserve, causing residents to be evacuated from their homes

A member of the public, seen here dressed in shorts and trainers, attempts to stamp out flames on the heathland on Saturday evening

Police have said the cause of the inferno is being investigated by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Fire Control added: ‘A big well done to the 36 different crews and 12 officers from

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service tackling the fire at Canford Heath overnight and into this morning. 

‘And a big thank you to Red Watch Control who have had a sleepless night answering 168 calls for this one incident!’

Dorset Police has said the cause of the fire is being investigated. 

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