AN investigation has been launched after police received reports of fires being started in Wareham Forest –⁠ just two months after a huge blaze ripped through the Dorset heathland.

Officers from Purbeck Police attended the area on Friday 24th July following calls about people drinking and starting fires.

The force said it is working with Forestry England to look into the situation and patrols will be carried out to monitor any future incidents.

A spokesperson for Purbeck Police said: "Yesterday we were in Wareham Forest after reports of people drinking and starting fires.

"After the wildfire just a few months ago, the consequences of having an open fire could have been catastrophic.

"We are working with Forestry England to investigate and will continue patrols."

The large fire in May is believed to have been started by disposable barbecues and destroyed 15 per cent of the important conservation area. It burnt for more than two weeks across 220 ha of the forest.

This story first appeared in the Bournemouth Echo.

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