CAR owners are being urged to take extra precautions following a spate of arson attacks.
Worried firefighters say the problem is on the increase and owners should make sure their car doors are locked and the keys removed.
Watch manager at Northwich fire station Steve Burrage said: 'During 2004-2005 we attended 24 deliberate car fires, but during 2005-2006 this has increased to 39 so far.
'Most of these vehicles have been taken and then burnt out, usually in remote areas around Northwich.
'Owners should ensure vehicles are properly locked and the keys removed.
'It seems obvious, but a high number of cars are taken when the owners have left the keys in the ignition, or even in the door. If anyone sees something suspicious they should contact the police immediately.'
One of the latest incidents involved a Rover Metro set on fire and left to burn in Hall Lane, Wincham.
Crews needed to use two high pressure hose reels to extinguish the blaze.
'The most likely cause of this fire is arson, and the details have been passed to the police for further investigation,' Mr Burrage added.