SMOKERS across Lancashire are being warned to take extra care when it comes to disposing of their cigarette ends after a spate of small fires in a town centre.

Blackburn Fire urged smokers to ensure they extinguish their cigarettes in a responsible manner as an unseasonably warm May has dried up the ground.

The station said they had been called out to a number of small incidents in Blackburn town centre, where compost and earth in planters is so dry that fires have been easily sparked by passers-by using them as an ashtray.

A spokesperson for Blackburn Fire said: “The dry weather is causing a few issues.

“We have been called out to a few fires involving planters around the town centre, the compost is bone dry.

“Please take care when disposing of cigarettes.

“This is a warning about discarding cigarettes in general during this dry spell.”

Bin fires are also more common when the weather is warm and dry.

The Met Office recently predicted that the month of May was the warmest and sunniest since records began,.

They added that only 64% of anticipated rain fall had fallen across the country, causing unusually dry land conditions.