Smoking weed is the newest worry for California firefighters as the state’s biggest wildfire races toward the nation’s biggest marijuana-producing region.
The wildfire is headed for Post Mountain and Trinity Pines, two small communities northwest of Sacramento that lie in the heart of cannabis country, the Associated Press reported. And many of the locals — up to 1,000 — are refusing to evacuate because they want to protect their pot.
Law enforcement officials went knocking on doors, but can’t make anybody go, Trinity County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Nate Trujillo told the AP.
“It’s mainly growers,” Trujillo said. “And a lot of them, they don’t want to leave because that is their livelihood.”
Trinity Pines alone has as many as 40 legal farms and 10 times more in illegal patches, sources told the outlet. Each farm’s crops are worth $500,000 or more — and harvest time is only days or weeks away.
“There [are] millions of dollars, millions and millions of dollars of marijuana out there,” the sheriff said. “Some of those plants are 16 feet tall, and they are all in the budding stages of growth right now.”
All across the state, the dry, sizzling weather threatens to ignite more wildfires — and make the job of fatigued firefighters just that much tougher. Meteorologists are predicting highs to hit 106 or 107 degrees by the early part of the week.
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