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Hay fire blamed on spontaneous combustion

About 100 tons of hay burned up early Wednesday morning near the Gallo cheese plant in a fire blamed on spontaneous combustion.

Battalion Chief Tom Wells of the Merced County Fire Department said a $250,000 loss was reported in the 4:29 a.m. fire in the 12000 block of West Highway 140. Wells said about 2,000 tons of hay was saved from damage.

Firefighting units from Merced, Winton and Gurr Road stations responded to the call. No injuries were reported, Wells said.