Man arrested on suspicion of triggering Northern California wildfire
A wildfire that has burned more than six square miles of forested land in Northern California was allegedly started by a young man who was at an illegal marijuana plot at the time.
The California Department of Fire & Forestry Protection has announced that 27-year-old Freddie Alexander Smoke III of Sacramento was taken into custody on suspicion of recklessly causing a fire as well as illegally cultivating marijuana.
According to the department, Freddie was delivering supplies to his illegal marijuana plot site in Shasta County of the state when exhaust from his truck set fire to dry grass.
The blaze has so far caused fire in more than 6 square miles, or 4,000 acres, of forested land and destroyed as many as 18 structures in the Shasta County. It is still threatening another 15 homes and 50 structures.
More than 1,500 firefighters, aided by an aircraft, have been struggling to extinguish the blaze in harsh hot, dry conditions. But, they could manage to contain no more than 15 per cent of the fire by Sunday.
The number of wildfires in California has increased drastically as the Golden State is in the grip of harsh dry summer for the third year in a row. In Solano County, a blaze prompted evacuations in Fairfield and forced authorities to temporarily close Highway 12; while in Central California, a fire has burned more than two square miles of a remote wilderness area of the Sequoia National Forest.
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