Firefighters are battling a “significant” blaze at a heathland in Dorset.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service said it attended the incident at Canford Heath in Poole on Saturday afternoon after the fire was being “driven” by strong winds.
Scenes on social media showed huge orange flames covering a vast area of rural land, with thick smoke pouring into the air.
Canford Heath is known for being the largest heathland in Dorset, and the largest lowland heath in the UK.
It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a part of the Dorset Heathlands Special Protection Area.
Roads have been closed around the area with fire crews and police officers working to extinguish the blaze.
The fire service said on Twitter: “Unfortunately, we’re dealing with a significant fire on #CanfordHeath.
“Our firefighters are working hard to get the fire under control as it’s being driven by the strong winds. Please can all walkers, cyclists and onlookers avoid the heath.”
Dorset Police said: “Officers attended to assist the fire service and ensure the safety of members of the public.
“They left the scene at around 4.30pm. Enquiries to establish the cause of the fire are ongoing.”
Elizabeth Leddy, 28, from Poole, told the PA news agency there were multiple fire engines at the scene, with roads near to her house closed off.
She added: “The flames were close to spreading to the trees on the roadside at the intersection of Canford Heath road and Sherborn Crescent, they looked significant.
“The amount of smoke pluming out was like no Heath fire I’ve seen before.”
Another nearby resident said the “scary” fire meant she was stuck on her road.