FIREFIGHTERS discovered a large group of people having a barbecue in the middle of a forest which was recently devastated by a similar incident.

A spokesman for Bere Regis Fire Station said: "At 9pm, just at the end of our drill night, we were alerted to a fire in Wareham Forest.

"Taking both the fire engine and the land rover, we discovered approximately 15 people having a campfire and BBQ right in the middle of the forest.

"These were quickly extinguished using water filled backpack extinguishers and taken away so they could not be reused.

"These were not local people so may not have seen our messages about not having any fires in the forest or on heathland.

"If you know anyone planning to come down and stay in the area, please pass our message on of 'No campfires, no BBQs'."

The previous fire at Wareham Forest broke out on May 18 and was tackled by more than 150 firefighters at one point.

The firefighting effort include, in a county-first, a helicopter dropping water on areas of the blaze.

Around 200 hectares of land was damaged during the fire, which had been declared a major incident at its height.