Fire destroys large hay barn in Tulelake

Tulelake, California – An early morning fire destroys a massive hay barn and farm equipment in Tulelake.

The fire broke out shortly before dawn in a storage shed next to the Newell Grain Growers Association.

“My daughter called me about 4:30 this morning, and said the hay barn was on fire,” said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hickman of the Tulelake Multi-County Fire District. “And we’ve been here since.”

The fire destroyed a structure owned by Woodhouse Farming and Seed that was nearly half a city block in size.

“It’s a hay shed, and this hay shed was plum full of one-ton bales,” said Hickman. “And they had some equipment parked in there they lost.”

Employee Jason Martinez was called in early to get some of the farm equipment out of harm’s way, but the fire was too big to save all of it. “We got a cat in there, we got two tractors in there, we got a big truck with a grain bin in there, and we got a Hyster in there.”

Fire crews from Tulelake, Merrill, and Malin were all called in to help keep the fire from spreading.

Assistant Fire Chief Hickman says investigators haven’t tracked down the cause of the fire. “No.  No – not really, not yet.”

No dollar estimate of damage has been made.

But Hickman believes the fire is expected to hit the community hard. “This is a lot of crop.  This is gonna hurt.”

It’s estimated that 1,000 tons of hay was burned in the fire.

No injuries have been reported.

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