Dorset Police were alerted by the fire service to a report three beach huts were on fire.
Officers attended and established that a further 30 beach huts had been broken into. It is not known at this time whether anything was stolen.
There was nobody inside any of the beach huts and no one was injured during the incident.
A full investigation is under way and a cordon is in place to allow for a thorough examination of the scene.
Later, Dorset Police said a 15-year-old boy from Bournemouth has been arrested on suspicion of arson and burglary.
Detective Inspector Andrew Kennard, of Bournemouth CID, said: “We are continuing to carry out detailed inquiries into this incident and I am appealing to anyone who was in the area and witnessed what happened to please get in touch.
“I am also keen to speak to anyone who saw or heard any suspicious activity in the vicinity around the time of the incident.
“Residents in the nearby surrounding area are urged to check their home CCTV systems for any relevant footage to assist my investigation.
“We are working with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council to identify the owners of the beach huts involved in this incident.”
The beach huts, which offer impressive views of the Dorset coastline, regularly fetch up to £300,000 when they are sold.