Dorset

Reward offered over Upton heath fire in Dorset

  • 14 June 2011
  • From the section Dorset
The fire at Upton Heath
Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles around

A reward is being offered for information that helps catch those responsible for a heath fire in Dorset.

The Crimestoppers charity is offering the cash to help detectives investigating the blaze, which began near Upton on 9 June.

The fire destroyed a one sq km area (247 acres) of heath.

Detectives are still trying to trace two young white men seen near the A35 footbridge leading to Heights Road, who they say may hold vital information.

One was wearing a grey T-shirt and blue jeans. The other was wearing a long blue sweatshirt and dark blue trousers.

'Considerable impact'

Det Insp Jim Beashel, of Dorset Police, said: "Anyone with information is urged to get in touch - in the strictest of confidence - at the earliest opportunity.

"This was a major incident that had a considerable impact on the community.

"I believe that those responsible are likely to have told friends or family about their involvement and would urge anyone with information to contact us as soon as possible."

Residents living near the fire were evacuated from their homes.

At its height, 200 firefighters were tackling the blaze, which started at about 1400 BST.

Four people were treated after breathing in smoke and one firefighter was taken to hospital with exhaustion.

Another firefighter suffered minor burns to his arm, during what the fire service said was Dorset's biggest heath fire since 1976.

The cash reward will be paid to anyone who calls the Crimestoppers line with information leading to the arrest and charge of an individual.

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