Fire allegedly triggered by pot grower’s truck now 4,400 acres; 2 hurt

A truck makes its way Friday past the Bully fire near Ono, Calif. A man is facing an involuntary man slaughter charge in connection with the fire.
(Greg Barnette / Associated Press)
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A wildfire burning in Northern California that was allegedly ignited by a truck that went off-road to deliver supplies to an illegal marijuana-growing site has grown to 4,400 acres, offiicials reported Monday.

The truck was driven by Freddie Alexander Smoke III, 37, of Sacramento, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. He was arrested Friday night on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and recklessly causing a fire.

Smoke drove off-road Friday afternoon into Shasta County’s Ono wilderness to deliver farming supplies when the truck’s exhaust system touched dry vegetation, sparking a blaze that has been dubbed the Bully fire, Cal Fire said. He has been released on bail.


The Shasta County Marijuana Eradication Team checked the area and found 180 marijuana plants at the site, authorities said.

The Bully fire has injured two people, destroyed one home and damaged eight others. It was 15% contained as of Monday morning.

About 15 homes are still threatened by the fire, officials said. More than 1,800 firefighters are battling the flames. Smoke has been released on bail.

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