Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 17:24 UK

Arson event follows heath fires

Heath fire in Dorset
A large fire destroyed about 12 acres on Talbot Heath on 19 April

An arson awareness event is set to be held in a Dorset town which has been plagued by a spate of deliberate heath fires in the past few months.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service will be at Sainsbury's at Talbot Heath in Bournemouth on Friday to highlight the dangers heathland arson attacks pose.

There will be a fire engine and an interactive fire vehicle at the event.

Since January crews have tackled several dozen deliberate heath fires at Talbot Heath and in nearby areas.

Gaynor Mant, arson and youth diversion manager for the fire service, said: "In light of the recent spate of heath fires in this area, we want to highlight to the public the dangers and consequences of deliberate fire setting.

"Heathland fires can spread at a considerable rate due to weather and wind conditions.

"[This] can drive fires towards neighbouring houses and property putting the lives of the public and wildlife at risk that may become trapped by the fire spread."

Anyone who sees something suspicious or someone attempting to light fires should call the police immediately, she said.

The event has been organised by the fire service, the Urban Heath Partnership, Streetwise and the Bournemouth and Poole Arson Task Force.

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