Concerned motorists have reported hearing two loud explosions on the motorway at Bamber Bridge.
The police also received a call from a worried resident, reporting a ‘loud boom’ shaking windows, as well as a black smoke cloud coming from the direction of the motorway.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service say they are dealing with a crane fire on the Walton Summit slip road, near to the M61 and M65 junctions, and that people may have heard tyres exploding.
Two fire crews were dispatched at 3.50pm and a call was made for three more to assist at around 4.10pm.
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The crane driver noticed a fire, pulled over and phoned for help.
“While crews were driving to the scene, the driver has tried to extingiush the flames himself, but it’s taken hold very quickly.
“The whole vehicle has been engulfed in flames and there has been reports of tyres exploding.”
The crane driver has not been injured.
Traffic is now building up in the area, with commuters advised to find alternative routes.