Marijuana growers sought in California wildfire

August 18, 2009 12:59:42 PM PDT
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.

The fire is one of several scorching the state during the past week.


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