A YOUTH has been arrested and released on suspicion of arson following a farm fire which caused more than £30,000 worth of damage.

Firefighters battled a blaze involving 300 tonnes of baled hay for more than 24 hours this week at a farm, off Moor Lane, near Newton Aycliffe.

Durham Police and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service launched an investigation after the hay went up in flames on Monday evening.

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DC Tom Edwards, of Bishop Auckland CID, said: "The fire is believed to have caused more than £30,000 worth of damage.

“One male youth has been arrested on suspicion of arson and has currently been released under investigation.

“There were a number of youths in the area at the time and so we would urge them to come forward.”

The emergency services were first alerted to the blaze, next to a telegraph pole and woodland, at 7.45pm on Monday.

Fire crews attended the scene and did not leave until 9pm on Tuesday.

Anyone with any information in regards to the fire or anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area at the time is asked to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 415 of September 11.