A large fire broke out at a packed beach in Bournemouth, England, as sun-seekers were enjoying the hot weather.
Witnesses reported seeing someone ‘throw a flare’ behind one of the beach huts, which then sparked a large blaze on the grass on the beach.
The fire began at around 3.30 p.m. as witnesses reported seeing huge plumes of smoke.
One woman told the Daily Echo she saw a flare go off moments before the flames travelled up the cliff, but this has not been confirmed by police.
Police wrote on Facebook: “There is currently a fire in foliage in the area of Pier Approach.
“Everything is under control, but we ask you please to AVOID THE AREA at the current time to allow Emergency Services to deal with it swiftly and effectively.”
“There was a scream and the smoke went up the cliff. The fire started immediately after that.”
One beach-goer, John Farr, told the Daily Echo a yellow smoke bomb had been the alleged cause.
He said: “It was a yellow bomb, I saw a load of yellow smoke and thought what’s that.
“It caught fire and just went up. Someone said they saw a child chuck it in there. The smoke was going everywhere, it was awful.”
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police is currently assisting the fire service following a fire along the cliffs on Undercliff Drive in Bournemouth.
“The fire is at East Cliff between Pier Approach toward Boscombe pier.
“Officers have set up a cordon and assisting the fire service who are tackling the blaze.
“A section of the promenade has been evacuated as a precaution. There have not been any reports of any injuries.
“We advise people to avoid the area while emergency services deal with the incident.”
A spokesman for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said they have sent four pumps with help from the aerial ladder platform to tackle the blaze.
Authorities have asked the public to clear the area.
Bournemouth council tweeted: “Our Seafront Rangers are at the scene of the East Cliff fire, guiding beach goers away from danger and ensuring the area is clear.”