Date: 3rd May, 2021
11.45am, 4 May
We have sent additional resources back to Boveridge Heath, to deal with hotspots and to prevent further fire spread. Crews from Poole, Swanage, Ferndown and Springbourne are being supported by a water carrier from Ringwood and the Unimog from Wareham.
Dorset Police have appealed for any witness information or dashcam footage that would support the fire investigation.
We have now left the incident at St Leonards & St Ives, which is now confirmed as a fire affecting approx. 500m x 300m of heathland. Six hose reel jets, a main jet and beaters were used to extinguish the blaze, which is believed to have started accidentally.
At Boveridge Heath, we have scaled back to two small 4×4 appliances, which will remain on site overnight. This fire has affected approx. 12.7 hectares of forestry plantation. A reinspection will be carried out in the morning, in liaison with Forestry England; as yet, the likely cause is unknown.
The incident at St Leonards & St Ives is now under control and the Service attendance is being scaled back to five fire engines and a water carrier.
Four fire engines from Hampshire are due to be released from the Verwood incident very soon, with a further review of what resources are needed to follow in an hour or so.
Area Manager Damien Bence said: “Both of these incidents are incredibly resource-intensive and we are grateful to colleagues in Hampshire & Isle of Wight FRS for their support. The strong winds are making the firefighting conditions very challenging, but progress is being made with both fires, thanks to the hard work of crews. We hope to scale back our attendance at both incidents over the coming hours, but we expect to maintain some form of presence in both locations overnight.”
At this stage, there is no information about the likely cause of either fire, and investigations will continue tomorrow.
We are currently dealing with two large heath fires, with a significant attendance of crews from both Dorset & Wiltshire and also Hampshire & Isle of Wight fire and rescue services.
The first incident started at 2.18pm off Hurn Road, St Leonards and St Ives, and involves two separate fires, one of approx. 200m x 150m and the other of approx. 300m x 200m. We have fire engines on scene from Ringwood, Ferndown, Christchurch, Wimborne, Springbourne, Redhill Park, Swanage and Sturminster Newton, together with small 4×4 appliances from Ferndown, Ringwood and Christchurch, the Unimog from Wareham and water carriers from Ringwood and Poole – approx. 50 firefighters.
At 2.51pm, we were called to a rapidly developing fire at Boveridge Heath, Verwood with a front of approx. 200m. Currently in attendance are fire engines from Verwood, Cranborne, Fordingbridge, Redbridge, Poole, Christchurch, Wimborne, Westbourne, Botley, Eastleigh (x2), Brockenhurst, New Milton, Romsey and Blandford, together with small 4/4 appliances from Verwood, Fordingbridge, Burley, Wimborne, Poole and Hamworthy, a water carrier from Wilton and a support appliance from Hamworthy – approx. 90 firefighters.
Both incidents are being badly affected by the strong winds, and local people are urged to stay away from these areas for their own safety.