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Two grass fires scorch Atwater, Merced land

A vehicle fire ignited a five-acre grass fire Thursday afternoon at Highway 140 and Bert Crane Road south of Atwater.

No one was reported injured. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said the fire was still under investigation.

Firefighters said they didn't know where or how it started, but it started in a vehicle, said engineer Mario Rivera, Cal Fire spokesman.

Three fire engines and one battalion chief were assigned to the scene, he said.

Cal Fire also reported another fire Thursday afternoon that started in some old logs, got out of control and charred 1.5 acres of grass at Belcher Avenue and Highway 59 in North Merced.

No one was injured and the cost is still undetermined, Rivera said.

A total of 15 firefighters, two water tenders, four fire engines from the county and one Merced City Fire Department engine responded to the scene.

-- Sun-Star staff