A brush fire burned three parked cars, destroying two of them, and investigators believe an improperly discarded cigarette likely caused it.

Firefighters were called out to the area of 14105 S.W. Millikan Way at 8 a.m. Thursday. As they arrived, they could see a column of black smoking pouring into the sky.

A hedge of arborvitae trees, about 15-20 feet long, was burning and the fire had spread to cars parked in a nearby parking lot.

Firefighters worked to quickly put out the fire and prevent it from spreading to other vehicles.

A fire investigator determined that the most probable cause of the fire was improperly discarded smoking materials igniting a fire in the bark dust that spread to the trees and cars.

Two of the cars are considered a complete loss.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue reminds smokers to properly put out cigarettes or other smoking materials in an ashtray or metal container with a lid.

Firefighters said bark dust can mask a creeping fire, which can spread over several hours to plants, trees and buildings.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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