The massive California wildfire near Yosemite National Park, which has scorched an area roughly the size of Chicago, may have been sparked by marijuana growers, according to one veteran fire official in the area.
Twain Harte Fire Chief Todd McNeal said that while the cause is still under investigation, he suspects those growing the illegal drug may be responsible, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
“We don’t know the exact cause,” said McNeal. But the firefighter of 23-years reportedly said at a community meeting that it was “highly suspect that there might have been some sort of illicit grove, a marijuana-grow-type thing.”
“We know it’s human caused. There was no lightning in the area,” he added.
McNeal has fought fires with the Forest Service, the National Park Service and other agencies in the Sierra Nevada.
By Friday, the fire had reportedly burned 213,414 acres, making it the fifth largest wildfire in the state’s history. It was 35 percent contained.
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