DOZENS of firefighters tackled a major blaze in Dorchester this morning.

Crews from Bridport and Beaminster joined colleagues from Dorchester, Weymouth, Bere Regis, Poole, and Wareham to tackle 60 tonnes of scrap metal on fire at St George’s, Dorchester.

There was a large smoke plume in the area as approximately 45 firefighters battled to bring the blaze under control.

At the height of the incident, there were eight fire engines, one aerial ladder platform and two water tenders.

Nearby residents were asked to keep their windows and doors shut due to the smoke.

The firefighters got the fire under control by 7.30am and a crew from Gillingham completed a final inspection after 9am.

Station Manager Graham Kewley who is investigating the cause of the fire, said: “At this stage we believe the fire to be accidental and the most likely cause was from a battery which had short-circuited within an electronic device. 

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that when they are disposing of electrical items which contain batteries, that these are removed from the device before taking to scrap metal sites.

"Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are working with the Environment Agency and site operators to prevent this type of fire and reduce the impact on the environment.”

Dorset Council has advised that the Dorchester Recycling Centre may need to close today as a result of the fire.