A FIRE involving hundreds of straw bales near Blandford earlier this month was not arson, police have said.

The fire, which saw 288 bales go up in flames next to West Street on the road between Winterborne Kingston and Winterbourne Whitchurch, happened on September 5 at around 6.30am.

Police launched an arson investigation following the blaze.

Dorset Police said that their investigations have not revealed any evidence of criminality or arson.

This month three fires involving hundreds of bales have occurred across Dorset.

On September 10, 500 bales of straw were destroyed in a late-night fire in Moor Crichel.

The fire was not being treated as suspicious.

It followed a blaze involving 100 bales of hay in Swanage on September 7.