ROCKLAND, Maine — An improperly discarded cigarette butt is the likely cause of a small fire at the public landing Monday afternoon, a Rockland Fire Department official said.

The fire, which was reported about 2:15 p.m., occurred under the shore end of the pier at The Pearl restaurant, Lt. Jamie Leo said.

“We just went down there and found a smoldering fire within the timbers of the dock,” he said. “We extinguished it with some water and had to cut up some of the timbers to gain access to it. It was probably a 4-by-8 area or less that was burning and we suspect that it was caused by a discarded cigarette.

“There’s no other ignition sources there to lead us to believe any other way so we’re thinking probably that was it,” Leo said.

“It had been smoldering for a while. There was some deep char to a 12-by-12-inch timber. It burned halfway through, probably,” he said.

Leo said that the fire did not affect the operation of the restaurant or the pier.