MORE than 100 firefighters tackled a huge blaze on Upton Heath yesterday afternoon.

A total of 15 fire engines and several off-road vehicles were sent to the scene just off the Upton Bypass, which was first reported at 3.14pm.

The blaze, which affected two hectares of heather, gorse and trees, could be seen for miles around.

It broke out on land close to the footbridge over the dual carriageway.

Police closed off the slip roads on the A35 Upton Bypass and a section of the A350 Blandford Road North due to the incident.

Firefighters used main lines and hose reel jets to quell the flames as the change in wind direction caused the fire to spread.

It took firefighters around two hours to get the blaze under control. The cause was still being investigated.

Station manager Graham Kewley said the spread of the fire had caused concerns for an electrical sub-station and Beacon Hill Caravan Park.

“At the height of the incident we had 15 appliances, unimog, three Land Rovers and three specialist heavy off road vehicles, as well as support from police for road closures,” Mr Kewley said.

The NPAS helicopter also provided assistance, giving an aerial view of the incident.

Crews stayed at the scene to dampen down and check for hot spots.

The fire came just ten days after a major blaze tore through 13 hectares of protected heathland at Ferndown Common.

Mr Kewley called on the public to be “extra vigilant”.

“Although we have had some rain and it is greener out there now, the ground underneath the surface is still very dry, it can spread so quickly,” he added.

“The cause of this fire is still under investigation, but we urge extra vigilance from anyone using the heathland and making sure they call an incident in at the earliest opportunity to give us the best chance to deal with a fire.

“A number of crews here were out at a thatched fire in south Wiltshire this morning. It is a considerable drain on our resources and I praise all our firefighters, many of whom are on-call staff.”