POLICE are hunting an arsonist who set fire to heathland in the New Forest.

The blaze - the fourth in the Dibden Inclosure area in 24 hours, involved trees and an area of heathland at Dibden Bottom, near Hythe.

Firefighters from Hythe and Hardley were joined at the scene by police and officials from the Forestry Commission.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) spokesman said an area 10m x 20m was damaged by the fire, which broke out just before 6pm on Thursday.

Hampshire police have confirmed that the blaze is being treated as arson.

Yesterday firefighters were called to yet another blaze in Dibden Inclosure.

They also went to Hatchet Lane, near Beaulieu, after a fence next to a householder’s garage caught fire.

Crews managed to prevent the fire spreading to the garage and destroying a luxury car inside.

The HFRS spokesman said: “The inside of the garage wasn’t affected but the fire began to affect the external sides of the garage and started to catch hold on the roof but crews stopped the fire escalating."