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

Firefighters from Bury and Whitefield were called to a farm off Bolton Road next to Watling Street in Bury just before 5pm today after reports of smoke and a bad smell.

Several tonnes of hay in a barn were on fire and officers spent two and a half hours tackling the flames.

It is believed children 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 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."