Traffic was tied up on the Merritt Parkway in Westport Monday afternoon after a fire erupted alongside the highway.

The blaze burned an area of about 10 by 50 feet between northbound Exits 42 and 44.

Westport firefighters, assisted by a Fairfield crew, extinguished the fires, but remained on the scene to wet down the area because of extremely dry weather conditions. The National Weather service had issued an alert for Sunday warning about the potential for fires.

It was not immediately clear what ignited the fore, but fire officials remind motorists to use the ashtrays in their vehicles to discard cigarette butts and other smoldering items.