Visitors Forced To Flee Bournemouth Beach As Fire Breaks Out
Visitors were forced to flee Bournemouth Beach in Dorset after a fire broke out, with the local fire brigade saying the blaze affected three beach huts and '100sqm of heath' along the cliff face.
Dramatic footage from the beach show the flames taking over a large patch of the hillside overlooking the beach, with huge plumes of smoke reaching into the sky.
Tracy Steadman, from Derbyshire, shared a video from the beach on Twitter, saying people had to 'abandon their belongings' as 'multiple fire engines' attended the scene.
Another Twitter user called Ekaterina Berkova said what was happening was 'awful', saying the fire brigade had arrived at the beach.
A third witness also tweeted to say the fire had 'escalated quickly', adding that flames have moved 'up to the top of the hill'.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Brigade confirmed firefighters were called to the beach just before 4pm today, and said the blaze was causing 'significant' smoke in the area.
It also urged people to stay away from the area while they dealt with the situation.
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A statement said: "Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is currently dealing with a fire on West Undercliff in Bournemouth, affecting three beach huts and approximately 100 sqm of heath on the cliff face.
"We were called to the scene at 3.51pm and have fire crews in attendance from Redhill Park, Springbourne, Westbourne and Christchurch, together with the aerial appliance from Westbourne. Additional crews are en route.
"The fire is causing significant smoke across the promenade and across West Hill Road.
"People are asked to stay away from the area, and to keep doors and windows closed as a precaution."
#LatestNews Please avoid the area of the West Cliff lift on Bournemouth's West Cliff following a beach hut fire, which has spread to nearby beach huts and is moving up the cliff. A cordon is in place for the safety of members of the public. We are assisting with the cordon.
- Dorset Police (@dorsetpolice) July 20, 2020
Dorset Police also said on Twitter that a police cordon was in place following a 'beach hut fire' that had 'spread to nearby beach huts and is moving up the cliff'.
It told people to avoid the area of the West Cliff lift on Bournemouth's West Cliff.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@dorsetfudge