FIREFIGHTERS have urged parents to check where their children are after crews tackled a "deliberate fire" started in woodland by youngsters.

Crews from across Dorset, alongside one from Hampshire, were called to the blaze at West Moors plantation on Thursday evening.

Fire engines from Ferndown, Wimborne, Springbourne and Ringwood attended the scene.

A member of the team from Ferndown said: "We’ve spent all evening at a deliberate fire at West Moors plantation caused by youngsters.

"Parents, do you know where your kids are? This tied up vital resources when we could have been needed elsewhere."

Station manager Steve Broad said that "good work" from crews contained the "large fire", which had tied up five appliances.

A Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "We were called to West Moors plantation at 8.28pm last night for a fire involving approximately 100m by 150m of woodland and undergrowth. Three fire engines, from Ferndown, Springbourne and Wimborne, attended, together with a Land Rover pump from Ferndown and a water carrier from Ringwood.

"The stop message came at 10.20pm and all appliances were back on station by 11pm. Two main jets, two hose reel jets and beaters were used.

"We believe the fire to have been started with intent, given its location, but whether it was malicious or a campfire left unattended, we have no way of knowing."