VIDEO: Hengistbury Head heath fire 'believed to be started deliberately'

VIDEO: Firefighters tackle blaze on Hengistbury Head

VIDEO: Firefighters tackle blaze on Hengistbury Head

VIDEO: Firefighters tackle blaze on Hengistbury Head

VIDEO: Firefighters tackle blaze on Hengistbury Head

VIDEO: Firefighters tackle blaze on Hengistbury Head

First published in News
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FIREFIGHTERS scrambled to Hengistbury Head this afternoon after a blaze broke out across a large section of heathland.

The fire, which is thought to have been started deliberately, engulfed a section on land near the former ironstone quarry in the middle of the reserve.

Two fire engines and two Land Rovers from Christchurch and Ferndown fire stations were called in to tackle the fire, which was brought under control by around 2pm.

Clem Stanley, station manager at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, said the exact cause of the blaze is not yet known.

He said: “It seems to have been started deliberately but we won't know until an investigation has been carried out.”

He added: “Heath fires are dangerous and they take up a lot of the fire service's resources that may be needed elsewhere. They also have an environmental impact on the wildlife as well as being dangerous to the people using the heath.”

Mark Chaters, who was walking in the area at the time, said he saw large plumes of smoke billowing from the reserve.

“There was lots of smoke,” he said.

“It was probably 20ft to 25ft high.”

Mandy Thomas, who was walking her dog at the time, added: “We saw plumes of billowing smoke and then the fire engines rushed past.”

“It's sad,” she added. “We come here every week and have never seen anything like this.”

The land train was suspended this afternoon to allow the fire crews to tackle the blaze.

Natalie Fisher, manager at Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre, said until the rangers are able to assess the area they do not know how much damage was caused.

She added: “Fortunately this is a rare occurrence. I can’t remember the last time there was a serious fire at Hengistbury Head. We have got away with it up until now and I hope we continue to get away with it in the future.”

Comments (14)

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6:58pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Carolyn43 says...

Deliberately started? Morons.

And school holidays don't start until tomorrow.
Deliberately started? Morons. And school holidays don't start until tomorrow. Carolyn43
  • Score: 5

7:17pm Tue 22 Jul 14

holdinkæft says...

Carolyn43 wrote:
Deliberately started? Morons.

And school holidays don't start until tomorrow.
small heath fire, normally started by a cigarette butt.
[quote][p][bold]Carolyn43[/bold] wrote: Deliberately started? Morons. And school holidays don't start until tomorrow.[/p][/quote]small heath fire, normally started by a cigarette butt. holdinkæft
  • Score: -5

7:20pm Tue 22 Jul 14

tim23456 says...

I was kayaking with my friend at the time when i started to see tiny plumes of smoke at about 12:05am and thought it might have been controlled. I feel stupid because I would have phoned fire services or police at the time but I had no way of contacting them (I had no phone on me) and at about 12:35 the fire was getting larger and larger and then I noticed a first fire engine to go down then later the second, I really hope it wasn't delibrate as it would be terrible for someone to think it might be a laugh. Makes me sick anyone would even think about that
I was kayaking with my friend at the time when i started to see tiny plumes of smoke at about 12:05am and thought it might have been controlled. I feel stupid because I would have phoned fire services or police at the time but I had no way of contacting them (I had no phone on me) and at about 12:35 the fire was getting larger and larger and then I noticed a first fire engine to go down then later the second, I really hope it wasn't delibrate as it would be terrible for someone to think it might be a laugh. Makes me sick anyone would even think about that tim23456
  • Score: 3

7:40pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Hawkstone says...

Some of the schools have finished already...........wa
tch out for more fires. Idiots who have nothing better to do .
Some of the schools have finished already...........wa tch out for more fires. Idiots who have nothing better to do . Hawkstone
  • Score: 9

8:03pm Tue 22 Jul 14

drJones says...

people blame the school kids but doesn't need to be holiday season for them to bunk a day off school nowadays!
people blame the school kids but doesn't need to be holiday season for them to bunk a day off school nowadays! drJones
  • Score: -1

10:31pm Tue 22 Jul 14

goatty says...

Yep the good old school holidays have started. 6 weeks holidays pathetic and just a receipe for kids to get up to no good. These holidays were introduced to help bring in the crops. A bit outdated now.
6 weeks of Heath fires and antisocial behaviour by teenage yobs who should be at school learning and not out hanging about being a nuisance
Yep the good old school holidays have started. 6 weeks holidays pathetic and just a receipe for kids to get up to no good. These holidays were introduced to help bring in the crops. A bit outdated now. 6 weeks of Heath fires and antisocial behaviour by teenage yobs who should be at school learning and not out hanging about being a nuisance goatty
  • Score: 1

10:39pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Ragwin says...

In this weather they can be started by a shard of broken glass on the ground.
In this weather they can be started by a shard of broken glass on the ground. Ragwin
  • Score: 3

10:46pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Understated says...

if it was near the quarry in the middle of the reserve, thats a long way to throw a cigarette butt. either the fire started by no fault of anyone, or there was someone wandering in that area with the intent to burn it, and on a day like today, in a tourist attraction, they should have been in plain view...
if it was near the quarry in the middle of the reserve, thats a long way to throw a cigarette butt. either the fire started by no fault of anyone, or there was someone wandering in that area with the intent to burn it, and on a day like today, in a tourist attraction, they should have been in plain view... Understated
  • Score: 0

10:54pm Tue 22 Jul 14

eyesropen says...

holdinkæft wrote:
Carolyn43 wrote:
Deliberately started? Morons.

And school holidays don't start until tomorrow.
small heath fire, normally started by a cigarette butt.
Not true. In fact cigarettes don't often fires although of course they can: A fire officer told me that by the way.

Chances are there were more than one point of ignition. That's often the giveaway of arson, aside from any evidence they might have found.
[quote][p][bold]holdinkæft[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Carolyn43[/bold] wrote: Deliberately started? Morons. And school holidays don't start until tomorrow.[/p][/quote]small heath fire, normally started by a cigarette butt.[/p][/quote]Not true. In fact cigarettes don't often fires although of course they can: A fire officer told me that by the way. Chances are there were more than one point of ignition. That's often the giveaway of arson, aside from any evidence they might have found. eyesropen
  • Score: 3

9:35am Wed 23 Jul 14

TheDistrict says...

Lets blame the children, its school holidays. I am not saying that children have started fires on heath land, but it is a very small minority, compared to the thousands of children who will be on holiday. Being near the quarry and what would be an area not used by the public, something like a piece of glass, may have been lying there waiting for the sun to come round, and in the heat we have been experiencing I doubt if it would take ling to ignite, moreso at that time of day, the hottest part of the day.

As for 6 weeks holidays, why not. The children who have been in learning all year, which again is the vast majority, deserve to have a rest from education. In this modern day, it allows parents to have a wider field of choice for holidays, rather than a two week period. And like I said, it is a very small minority of children that you call yobs who cause trouble. So lets not blame them all, and let them have a good summer holiday.
Lets blame the children, its school holidays. I am not saying that children have started fires on heath land, but it is a very small minority, compared to the thousands of children who will be on holiday. Being near the quarry and what would be an area not used by the public, something like a piece of glass, may have been lying there waiting for the sun to come round, and in the heat we have been experiencing I doubt if it would take ling to ignite, moreso at that time of day, the hottest part of the day. As for 6 weeks holidays, why not. The children who have been in learning all year, which again is the vast majority, deserve to have a rest from education. In this modern day, it allows parents to have a wider field of choice for holidays, rather than a two week period. And like I said, it is a very small minority of children that you call yobs who cause trouble. So lets not blame them all, and let them have a good summer holiday. TheDistrict
  • Score: 1

9:58am Wed 23 Jul 14

disfan says...

i really hate the way everyone blames kids!
I realise that there is a small number of young people who are intent on causing antisocial and illegal behaviour but 99% of young people are fine upstanding members of the community.

there are a LOT more adult arsonists than there are child arsonists.
i really hate the way everyone blames kids! I realise that there is a small number of young people who are intent on causing antisocial and illegal behaviour but 99% of young people are fine upstanding members of the community. there are a LOT more adult arsonists than there are child arsonists. disfan
  • Score: 2

10:54am Wed 23 Jul 14

GeorgeW64 says...

It is more than likely an accident started by a careless rich person that can afford cigarettes !!!
It is more than likely an accident started by a careless rich person that can afford cigarettes !!! GeorgeW64
  • Score: -3

2:15pm Wed 23 Jul 14

ifucantbeatemjoinem says...

Hawkstone wrote:
Some of the schools have finished already...........wa

tch out for more fires. Idiots who have nothing better to do .
your comment is insinuating that this was started by school children - maybe you should share the evidence you have to back up this statement?
[quote][p][bold]Hawkstone[/bold] wrote: Some of the schools have finished already...........wa tch out for more fires. Idiots who have nothing better to do .[/p][/quote]your comment is insinuating that this was started by school children - maybe you should share the evidence you have to back up this statement? ifucantbeatemjoinem
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Wed 23 Jul 14

palexgo says...

This kind of fire seems to happen most on hot sunny days. That makes me wonder if bits of dead timber rub together and eventually catch fire. Hengistbury Head has access to the strongest local wind which could have got the timber to rub.
This kind of fire seems to happen most on hot sunny days. That makes me wonder if bits of dead timber rub together and eventually catch fire. Hengistbury Head has access to the strongest local wind which could have got the timber to rub. palexgo
  • Score: 0

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