When I was beekeeping last, I kept my smoker on top of one of the beehives. As I was taking out a frame, I looked up and to my horror, there was a ring of fire ahead of me, about a meter/couple of feet in diameter. I ran and fetched my fire extinguisher and put it out. The fire was then catching on again, I realised that in such short time it had made embers which was hot and causing it to light up again, so I grabbed my 20 liter/5 galleon drum of water and poured it all over the area, completely smoldering it.
I didn't go anywhere near where the fire started. The only way I figure it could have started, is if something hot spat out the smoker, which sent it flying about 5 meters away, causing the area to be set ablaze. Can a smoker do this? I did use a small bunch of toilet paper to start the smoker, and I do vaguely recall reading that using paper to light a smoker can cause it to spit out hot embers.
I have a stainless steel bucket. I figure if a smoker can cause a fire like that, then I ought to not leave it out on top of a hive and instead, drop it in the bucket when not using it.