A grass fire burned two acres of land, two chicken coops and a number of fences at Highway 59 and Bellevue Road on Tuesday, totaling about $5,000 in damages, said Mario Rivera, a Cal Fire spokesman.
The fire was reported at 2 p.m. with a moderate rate of spread, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mark Lawson said. One battalion chief and six engines were dispatched to the scene -- three Merced County engines and one water tender.
Several structures were threatened, but Rivera estimated $200,000 in property was saved.
"It is unknown how many chickens were lost yet," Lawson added.
So far there's no known cause, but police and the Merced Fire Department are investigating suspicious activity by two males who left the property on foot just before the fire.