Metro trains running in tunnels cause piston wind, and when a metro train stops in a tunnel due to a fire, the effect of the piston wind on smoke propagation characteristics cannot be ignored. In this paper, a theoretical model based on the unsteady flow theory of the Bernoulli equation was established to describe the change in piston wind speed under fire conditions. The characteristics of the smoke propagation in tunnel fires under the effect of the piston wind were analysed by means of numerical simulation. The result indicates that the piston wind has a significant effect on the characteristics of smoke distribution. In a longitudinally ventilated tunnel, whether the direction of piston wind is the same as that of longitudinal ventilation could seriously affect the control of fire smoke. When the direction is the same, the piston wind could enhance the smoke control effect of the longitudinal ventilation. Otherwise, the smoke control effect could be significantly diminished, and the smoke control by the critical wind speed of longitudinal ventilation would fail. The findings could contribute to a better understanding of the characteristics of tunnel fire to control smoke spread under the influence of piston wind.