Crime - Sacto 911

Crews pulled from fire line after illegal marijuana grow found in Modoc County

Firefighting efforts were halted for several hours in Modoc County last week after fire crews discovered an illegal marijuana growing operation.

On the evening of July 25, firefighters battling the Cove Fire in northwestern Modoc County came upon the grow site, according to a Modoc County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The sheriff and undersheriff met with fire officials and determined the operation was on public land. While they were at the fire scene, they spotted two people sitting under a tree atop a ridge near the fire, and law enforcement and fire officials decided it was not safe for crews to continue firefighting efforts until the site could be secured, the news release said. Firefighters were pulled from the fire line about 1 p.m. Wednesday.

On Thursday, deputies from the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office and a warden from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife went to the site and secured the area. At 9 a.m., firefighters were asked to return to the fire line to protect the marijuana eradication team from the fire.

A helicopter with a team of law enforcement officers and members of the Modoc County Sheriff’s Posse were called to assist deputies in removing marijuana and trash from the grow site. The Sheriff’s Office removed 1,870 marijuana plants and approximately 600 pounds of trash, the news release said.

No arrests have been made.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy