Bad: Six Marijuana Growers Suspected of Starting California Wildfires
Six Marijuana Growers Suspected of Starting California Wildfires
[SARCASM] I know this comes as a shock to everyone but there are dangerous armed people as well as dangerous animals in National Forests. Who Knew?[/SARCASM]
DAVENPORT, Calif. — California investigators are looking for up to six marijuana growers suspected of starting a large wildfire north of Santa Barbara with cooking gear.
Investigators found about 30,000 marijuana plants near the origin of the fire in a remote canyon. An assault rifle was recovered at the campsite.
U.S. Forest Service Special Agent Russ Arthur said Tuesday that a cooking device at an encampment was responsible for the fire, which has burned more than 137 square miles.
Arthur says it's the first time in Santa Barbara County a wildfire has been caused by drug trafficking.
He says there are typically three to four small fires each year in California that are started by similar activity.
Here is another related story:
Marijuana Found Thriving in Forests
Marijuana Found Thriving in Forests - The New York Times
Wearing camouflage and armed with machetes, a dozen police officers waited in the gathering heat of morning for a helicopter that was to drop them into a marijuana farm, in the hills two miles distant.
Rattlesnakes, poison oak and bee stings would be the least of their concerns, the officers were warned before the raid: They might be welcomed with gunfire.
''You've got to take care of yourselves,'' Sgt. Richard Matthews, a SWAT team leader for the Tulare County Sheriff's Department, told the officers in a briefing near here, at the western boundary of Sequoia National Park.
Almost every day through the marijuana harvest season, which recently ended, federal agents and the local police descended on the increasingly large pot farms in California's national forests, looking for the growers and their possible connections to Mexican drug traffickers.