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Hay fire continues at Fair Hill park in Elkton

A fire that has destroyed about half a million dollars worth of hay continued to burn late Saturday night at a state park in Elkton, officials said.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area at 12:40 p.m. where two pole barns storing large bales of hay caught fire, said Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire. Alkire, the lead fire investigator, said the fire will likely continue for days and will have to be monitored by park Department of Natural Resources officials.

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"It's extremely deep-seeded. It will be days," he said.

He said the barns, which are 50 by 500 feet and off Tawes Drive, have bales the size of small cars that weigh 1,200 pounds.

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"Right now, there are thousands of hay bales in there," Alkire said, adding that estimated loss is half a million dollars just for the hay, and another quarter-million for the structures. Alkire said the barns are owned by the state but third-party contractors are in charge of the hay.

The barns are down the road from the Fair Hill Training Center, an equestrian facility that leases 350 acres from the state.

No injuries were reported in the two-alarm blaze.

The cause remains under investigation.

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