Report says,a blaze broke out in beach huts in Bournemouth, sending flames shooting up the hillside behind.
According to the report, hundreds of beachgoers watched flames spread when the fire, believed to have been caused by a cooking stove, broke out at 15:45 BST.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said eight crews were tackling the blaze at its height.
People were urged to stay away from the area as a precaution, as a huge plume of black smoke rose over the town.
There are no reports of injuries and the fire is believed to have started accidentally in one of the huts.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said it was understood the blaze started when a camping stove was knocked over.It affected three beach huts and spread over about 100m of heath on the cliff face before it was brought under control by 17:30.