Wareham Forest: Firefighters take control of major wildfire

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A picture taken from the police helicopter shows the extent of the fire which broke out on Monday

A large fire that broke out on 100 hectares of heath and woodland in Dorset has been brought under control.

The fire, in Wareham Forest, was declared a major incident by the fire service shortly after midday on Monday.

The forest is home to all six species of British reptile: the common lizard, sand lizard, slow worm, grass snake, adder and smooth snake.

Hundreds are thought to have perished in the fire.

Firefighters are likely to remain at the scene for the next two days putting out “deep rooted hotspots” which could reignite the blaze.

More than 150 firefighters tackled the blaze overnight.

Nearby roads, including a section of the A35 at Bloxworth, remain closed. Motorists have been advised to check their route.

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A picture taken from one of the firefighters at Westbourne Fire Station at 01:00 BST

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Seth Wye, of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS), said: “With the dry conditions there’s a real danger that this fire could reignite.”

He added about 60 firefighters remained on site “dealing with deep-rooted hotspots – burning roots and tree stumps”.

DWFRS said it was working with police and the forestry commission “to see if we can identify the cause”.

Due to strong winds smoke drifted to Poole and Bournemouth, more than 10 miles (15km) away.

Residents have been urged to keep windows and doors closed as a precaution.

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About 60 firefighters remain at the fire dealing with burning roots and tree stumps

BBC News

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