HUNDREDS of bales of straw were destroyed in a late-night fire in East Dorset.

A total of 500 bales in the open at Moor Crichel were found to be “well alight” when firefighters from Verwood rushed to the scene.

The fire was reported to the fire service at 11.40pm on Tuesday night.

Fire crews from Wimborne and Cranborne also attended along with the water carrier from Ringwood.

A spokesperson from Verwood Fire Station said that due to the location and that nothing was salvageable, the incident was scaled down to two pumps who maintained watch.

Yesterday, one relief fire crew remained on the scene for damping down.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

The huge fire is the third involving hay or straw bales to occur over the last week alone.

Around 100 bales of hay were destroyed in a huge fire in Swanage on Saturday evening.

An agricultural shed was also set ablaze during the incident.

Dozens of firefighters were called to the fire in Townsend Road at around 5.40pm.

Officials said the bales burned after a nearby fire in a field spread to the shed.

It was extinguished using main lines, hay drags and forks.

Fire crews from Swanage, Poole and Hamworthy attended along with the water carrier and unimog from Wareham.

Swanage Fire Station said: “Crews worked hard with a shortage of water to stop it spreading further.”

The previous day, some 288 bales of straw were set ablaze near Blandford.

The fire happened at 6.30am in a field next to West Street on the road between Winterborne Kingston and Winterborne Whitchurch.

Crews from Blandford, Poole and Bere Regis tackled the blaze.

One 4x4 vehicle from Bere Regis and the unimog from Wareham remained on the scene the following day.

Police launched an arson investigation following the incident and asked for anyone who was driving along the road at the time and has a dashcam to check their footage.

Following the incident, police said they were liasing with the fire service to establish the cause of the blaze.

At the time, it was not known if the fire had started accidentally of if it was the result of a deliberate act.

Yesterday Dorset Police said no arrests had been made.