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Series of haystack fires investigated as possible arson

July 22, 2001

A series of suspicious haystack fires across the county kept firefighters on the move early Saturday and sparked an investigation by the Imperial County Sheriff's Office and Imperial County fire officials.

The series of fires started shortly after 3 a.m. near Brandt and Rutherford roads east of Westmorland, said County Fire Capt. Joe Seaman. Within two hours, three other fires were reported in haystacks north of Imperial and Holtville, Seaman said.

Firefighters also responded to a haystack fire at Worthington and Cooley roads near Imperial shortly after 7 a.m., Seaman said.

According to Sheriff's Office logs, footprints were found at the scene of the last fire.

The quantity and value of hay lost in the fires were unavailable Saturday, Seaman said.

Seaman said officials are investigating the incidents as possible arson.

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