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Appeal for information following heath fire in East Dorset

04 May 2021
Officers are carrying out a joint investigation with the fire service to establish the cause of a large heath fire in East Dorset and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Dorset Police was made aware at around 3pm on Monday 3 May 2021 that firefighters from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were in attendance at a fire in the area of Boveridge Heath in Verwood. It was the second heath fire in the East Dorset area reported that afternoon following an earlier incident off Hurn Road at St Leonards and St Ives.

Officers attended to assist as around 90 firefighters were involved in extinguishing the fire at Verwood.

An investigation has now been launched into the cause of the blaze, which covered an area of 12.7 hectares.

Inspector Simon Perry, of North and East Dorset police, said: “We are continuing to liaise with the fire service to establish the full circumstances and the cause of this fire, which has caused substantial damage to a large area of heathland.

“At this time the cause of the fire remains unexplained and to assist our enquiries I would urge anyone who was in the area at the time and has any information as to how the fire started to please contact us. I would also like to hear from anyone who was driving in the area on the afternoon of Monday 3 May 2021 and may have captured anything of relevance on dashcam.

“Finally, I would like to thank the fire service and all those involved in tackling the fire for their swift response, which prevented the damage from being even worse.”

Local officers will continue to carry out patrols in the area and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has the following advice to members of the public to avoid starting wildfires:

• Avoid campfires and using barbecues in the countryside. If you must have a fire, make sure that you’re in a designated safe area.
• Put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before you leave your vehicle.
• Do not throw cigarette ends out of your vehicle. They could start a fire and destroy surrounding countryside.
• If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately on 999. Do not tackle a fire yourself, unless it can be put out with a bucket of water. Please call the fire service and leave the area as soon as possible.
• Ensure that you know your location or a landmark so you can direct the fire service.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210069298. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call freephone 0800 555 111.
 

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