A stark warning over the life-threatening dangers posed by discarded cigarettes has been given by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
This comes after the devastating fire at BoomTown Fair, near Winchester, which destroyed 80 cars with another dozen damaged.
More than 30 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze which broke out at 4.15pm on Friday and sent a giant plume of smoke hundreds of feet into the sky.
An investigation has determined the fire was accidental and most likely caused by a recklessly discarded cigarette.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager Steve Foye said:
“This devastating fire shows the danger and impact of discarding lit cigarettes.
“In the summer a fire like this is more likely to take hold quickly and can grow out of control in minutes.
“Smokers should always ensure that cigarettes or cigars are fully extinguished and disposed of properly, and under no circumstances left unattended.
“Not only can they cause damage to property and our environment but they can put people’s lives at risk”
“Tips to limit the fire risk of cigarettes are available on the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service website.”
He went on to say he was extremely proud of the bravery and professionalism of the firefighters who battled the flames to get the rapidly growing blaze under control.
He also urged people to think about safety while enjoying the events taking place over Summer.
Firefighters tackle 80-car blaze