California Wildfires

FILE - In this July 11, 2014 photo, a member of an inmate firefighting crew works on the Bully fire near Ono, Calif. A 27-year-old man who was allegedly at an illegal marijuana plot is suspected of starting a wildfire that has burned about 6 square miles of forested land in northern California. Freddie Alexander Smoke III was arrested Saturday, July 12, 2014 and accused of recklessly causing a fire and with marijuana cultivation, both felonies, according to the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection. The so-called Bully fire has since grown to 3,700 acres and destroyed six structures, CalFire officials said. The blaze, which is burning in steep terrain, was just 10 percent contained Sunday morning. (AP Photo/The Record Searchlight, Greg Barnette)


Growing California wildfire brings new evacuations

By July 15, 2014

REDDING — A wildfire in Northern California that authorities say was sparked by exhaust from a truck at a marijuana cultivation site prompted new evacuations on Monday as it kept growing.

It was not immediately clear how many homes were included in the new evacuation order in the rural community of Igo in Shasta County.

Fire officials said the Bully Fire, which started on Friday, was threatening 15 homes after destroying eight homes and 10 other structures. It had burned through 4,700 acres, or more than seven square miles, and was 15 percent contained.

Fire crews have been hampered by steep terrain and dry conditions. Temperatures were expected to climb to 108 degrees on Monday, state fire spokeswoman Teresa Rea said.

“We have some very, very difficult conditions we’re dealing with,” she said.

About 100 additional firefighters were called in overnight, bringing total personnel on the scene to more than 1,800.

A 27-year-old Sacramento man was arrested Saturday and accused of recklessly causing the fire and with marijuana cultivation, both felonies, the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection said.

Freddie Alexander Smoke III was delivering material to the pot site when the exhaust from his truck ignited dry grass, authorities said. The Shasta County district attorney has not yet reviewed the case and it could not be determined if Smoke has a lawyer.

Meanwhile, in Central California containment of a fire in Sequoia National Forest increased to 60 percent after burning more than 2½ square miles.


The Associated Press

The Associated Press


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