Careless smoking is blamed for starting a 60-acre fire on swampy land in the west metro.

The blaze started about 4:25 p.m. Tuesday on land north of Watertown, Fire Chief Wade Stock said.

The property owner was working in the area cutting some trees and was careless with his cigar, Stock said.

The flames spread to adjoining properties and burned until fire crews put it out more than three hours later, the chief said.

Stock said his department won't be sending the property owner a bill for their efforts.

"We still consider this to be accidental," he said, "even though there is some carelessness behind it."

No civilians or firefighters were hurt from the blaze, Stock said.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482