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Fire burns hay, structures

NEWMAN – A Sunday morning fire west of Newman burned an estimated 20-30 tons of stored hay, destroyed a barn and a small outbuilding and scorched about four acres of grassland, West Stanislaus Fire Protection District Chief Steve Hall said.

Hall said the fire was reported at about 2 a.m. Sunday. It occurred off Orestimba Road just west of the California Aqueduct.

He said West Stanislaus Fire Protection District engines from Patterson, Crows Landing and Newman responded, as did an engine and bulldozer from CalFire.

Nearly two dozen firefighters responded.

Firefighters did not clear the scene until about 10 a.m.

Hall said the property is owned by the state but leased out.

The fire chief said the fire, which appears to have started in the hay, is suspicious in nature and remains under investigation.

No damage estimate was available.