Law enforcement concerned about fire threat by Illegal marijuana grows

Tent at an illegal marijuana grow in Siskiyou County, CA Aug. 28. (Carsyn/News 10)

As Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office led an illegal marijuana grow bust Wednesday there is a larger problem with the illicit trade - fire.

Capt. Chris McGrew, Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, said individuals who live on illegal marijuana grows usually live in shacks or tents.

"Seeing shacks and tents on illegal grows is pretty typical. People either live in the tents part time when it's growing season, or they don't live on the property at all. As you can see there's a lot of trash all around which is a fire danger in itself," said Capt. McGrew.

According to the Siskiyou Inner Agency Marijuana Investigation Team, they have seized well over 13,000 illegal marijuana plants, and well over 16,000 pounds of processed marijuana from illegal marijuana grow sites.

The temporary housing shacks typically have self rigged electricity and they have illegal generators around the property. The generators are not properly installed and the excessive trash around the generators could start a fire with one spark.

"Oh yeah, it's a huge fire danger. It's so dry out here and they have generators all over the place without spark arrestors or anything. It could easily spark a fire out here that could be a big issue fast," said Captain McGrew.

McGrew said law enforcement sees trash filled illegal grows all the time.

According to authorities, dry soil, excessive trash, and generators are the perfect storm for starting fires.

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