MORE than 40 firefighters battled a heath fire at Moors Valley Country Park this afternoon.

A swathe of land measuring 100 metres by 150 metres was ablaze.

Earlier today, a spokesperson from the Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said earlier: "Six fire engines, four Land Rovers and a Unimog all-terrain vehicle are all at the scene.

"Around 40 firefighters are there as well. We currently don't know the cause of the fire, but would advise anyone wishing to visit to avoid the area for the time being."

A further Tweet from the service's account said that, of the six engines, two are pumps, three are heavy off-road appliances and one is a water carrier.

The fire took hold of a swathe of land near Watchmoor Wood Bike Park, which is owned by the Forestry Commission.

A spokesperson from the park said no one needed to be evacuated, and added: "It's not near the Visitor Centre, so it hasn't had a huge impact on people visiting today."

The fire has been surrounded and crews are working to dampen down the flames.

A Forestry Commission spokesperson said: "We are supporting the fire service on the site of a heathland fire in the northern part of Ringwood Forest, and will continue to do so until it is brought under control."