POLICE are looking to speak with three men after hay bales were set on fire in a "senseless and reckless" arson attack.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) was called to the incident at the Millennium Green at around 4.20pm on Tuesday, with the fire destroying 12 hay bales.

Before police arrived three males, thought to be in their late teens or early 20s, were seen on a hay bale which had smoke coming from it.

Describing the incident as "a senseless and reckless act", PC James Barrett, of the South Wiltshire Community Team, said: “Had the fire service not been able to extinguish the blaze, it would have headed in the direction of the houses near the green.

"We are particularly keen to speak to the three males who ran off when approached.

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“Not only are there significant cost implications with regard to the hay bales which have been lost but also, due to the hot summer, the crop yield has been low and they may now need to buy in feed to see them through the winter months.

“Hay bales are not toys to play on and we strongly advise members of the public to stay away. They are highly flammable, particularly at the moment after the driest June in a decade, and a discarded match or cigarette can easily start a fire with devastating impacts."

PC Barrett added: “With the hot, dry, weather we have seen this week, we are making a plea to people to take extreme care to avoid starting a fire.”

DWFRS used drags and hose reel jets to extinguish the fire and remained at the scene until 7.30pm.

If anyone has any further information that could help officers locate the suspects call 101 quoting crime reference number 54200080033.