Fire officials say the improper disposal of cigarettes caused two major fires recently in Braintree.

The fire at 87 Trefton Drive on April 13 and the fire at 956 Liberty St. Wednesday night were both caused by cigarettes that were discarded on or under the exterior decks of the house, according to State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Braintree Fire Chief James F. O’Brien.

The Trefton Drive home was completely destroyed by the fire, while the Liberty Street home was badly damaged.

“Now that the snow has melted, the bare ground is tinder dry and easily ignited. Smokers should use appropriate ash cans filled with sand or water to dispose of cigarettes; don’t flick butts into trash, mulch, dry leaves or potted plants,” said O’Brien in a statement.

Last year, according to Coan, more than half of all residential smoking fires in the state started outside the home, not inside.

“As more people smoke outside the home in areas like balconies, exterior stairways or enclosed porches, we see more smoking fires starting in these areas,” he said