SPARKS from small campfire started by children caused a blaze in a hay barn in Bury.

Firefighters were called to a farm off Bolton Road, adjacent to Watling Street, shortly before 5pm on Saturday after reports of smoke and a bad smell.

Several tonnes of hay inside a barn were alight and fire crews spent two and a half hours tackling the flames.

It is believed children had started a small campfire nearby, sparks from which drifted into the barn and set the hay alight.

The children had fled the scene by the time the firefighters arrived.

Steve Wilcock, watch manager at Bury fire station, said: “Children with matches are one of the biggest causes of nuisance fires, even in the current weather. Ideally we don’t want these fires at all, but we are mindful they are going to happen and would ask parents to always supervise their children if they are using matches.”