New mountain bikes to combat Dorset heath fires

image captionThe number of deliberately started fires goes up as evenings get lighter

Firefighters will be stepping up patrols to combat heath fires across Dorset with two new mountain bikes.

The bikes will be unveiled on Thursday and will be used by community safety teams to patrol known trouble-spots.

The fire service said officers would be out in force in Poole and Bournemouth in the run up to the school holidays when incidents traditionally go up.

The number of fires started deliberately rise as the evenings become lighter, the fire service added.

The bikes, which cost £477 each, will boost the service's fleet to six.

Gaynor Mant, from the fire service, said: "As the schools holidays approach young people are out of school and get bored.

"Lighter evenings will encourage more people outside and there is a trend that the number of deliberately set fires on the heathland increases."

Those on patrol will also be able to carry out free home safety checks.

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