RESIDENTS were told to keep their windows and doors closed for 12 hours following a major fire at a landfill in Ringwood.

Around 80 firefighters were called to tackle the blaze at the Veolia Blue Haze Landfill site in Somerley around 7.40pm on Sunday.

Crews from Hampshire and Dorset both attended the incident and remained at the scene for most of the night trying to bring the fire under control.

A spokesperson from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) said: "We initially sent 14 different resources to the scene in order to to get the fire under control.

"Crews remained at the site for most of the night. By 11am on Monday one pump was still at the scene dampening down the site."

Large plumes of smoke were seen billowing from the site on Sunday night.

Around 10pm HFRS told people in the Ringwood, Ashley Heath and Verwood area to close their windows and doors due to smoke from fire.

This warning was not lifted until 11am the following morning.

Motorists were also warned that there could be poor visibility in the surrounding area as a result of the smoke and were asked to avoid the area if possible.

Police were also notified in case the smoke became so bad that some of the roads would need to be closed.

The landfill is operated by waste and recycling specialists Veolia.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown, but Ringwood mayor Cllr Michael Thierry has said he would expect to see an investigation into not just the cause but also what was burnt in the fire.

"The problem with landfill fires is that we don't know what is going up in the smoke," he said.

"Chemicals could be released into the air and then spread for miles as a result of the smoke plumes.

"Thankfully I think the warning to close windows and doors was more advisory but I think it's always wise to be cautious in these situations.

"Veolia is an excellent company and I am certain that this incident is something they would look into ver carefully."

There have been a number of similar incidents at the landfill in the last five years.

In July 2014 dozens of firefighters were involved in tackling a blaze at the site which had spread across two acres – and a similar sized fire also broke out at the site in July 2013.

And in 2011, a fire at Blue Haze took nearly 24hours to put out and involved 500 tonnes of rubbish.