RESIDENTS were evacuated from their homes after a large wildfire broke out and black smoke poured into the air yesterday.
Locals were rushed to a nearby leisure centre and police warned people to stay away as the inferno raged through the heathland in Poole, Dorset.
The fire was believed to raged through 1,000 metres of land on Canford Heath in Dorset.
Ferndown Fire Station said the blaze was "probably the largest fire in this location for a number of years".
But firefighters have this morning said that the blaze has been controlled.
A police helicopter was yesterday ordering local people away using a tanoy.
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And the blaze got close to houses which back onto the heath.
Elizabeth Leddy, 28, from Poole, said 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."
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Another nearby resident said the "scary" fire meant she was stuck on her road.
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.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service said a large number of its resources were in attendance and advised the public to avoid the area.
It described the fire as "significant" earlier and urged all walkers, cyclists and onlookers to avoid the heath.
The fire service said the incident, which they were initially called to on Saturday afternoon, was "now surrounded and under control".
They added: "Please be aware that the road closures will remain in place and whilst our presence at this incident will be reducing, a number of resources will remain on scene overnight checking for hotspots."
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Wessex Water had been made aware of some supply issues in the area following the incident.
Officials are investigating the cause of the fire.
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