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Firefighters battle several fires on Thursday

Firefighters battled more than four fires throughout Merced County on Thursday, as heavy winds and dry conditions created optimal conditions for the fires to spread.

Around 8 a.m., firefighters from the Cal Fire/Merced County Fire Department began battling a almond hull fire in Le Grand. Battalion Chief Brian Neely said about 20 firefighters arrived at Minturn Road, near the Madera/Merced County border, where about 1000 tons of almond hulls were ablaze.

Firefighters also fought rural grass and haystack fires in Livingston and Delhi, Neely said. During the afternoon, firefighters were dispatched to a grass fire at Highway 140 near Cunningham Road east of Planada, consuming about 20 acres.

In addition, Cal Fire/Merced Fire Department firefighters also battled a house fire on the 4200 block of Lincoln Boulevard around 2:19. The cause of that fire is still being investigated.

Cal Fire/Merced County Fire Department said no injuries were reported in the fires.

— Victor A. Patton

5:08: A Cal Fire official said that a grass fire at Highway 140 near Cunningham Road east of Planada has been contained.

4:50 p.m.: CHP is reporting that a grass fire is heading toward Highway 140 near Cunningham Road, east of Planada. A caller told CHP dispatchers at 3:40 p.m. that the fire had consumed about 20 acres. Cal Fire is responding to the fire, according to the CHP traffic incident information Web site.

Keep checking for updates.

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