Illegal marijuana grove may have sparked Rim Fire

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Illegal marijuana grove may have sparked Rim Fire


U.S. Forest Service

This story has been updated.

A California fire official says the massive fire burning near Yosemite National Park may have been caused by an illegal pot-growing operation.

At a community meeting to discuss the blaze, Twain Harte Fire and Rescue Chief Todd McNeal said that an illegal marijuana grove may have sparked the fire, which has been burning for two weeks and has consumed more than 235,000 acres. That's 368 square miles.

McNeal made the statement over a week ago, but the video of the meeting, which was posted on YouTube, has recently gained interest.

Officials with the US Forest Service are not commenting on McNeal's statement and report that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The blaze is 75% contained with full containment expected by Sept. 20.

More than 4,300 personnel are at the scene. They've come from 44 states. The size of the fire is now more than five times the size of Washington, D.C.