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Tue, May 14, 2013

Dude! Oregon Smokejumpers Get A Surprise On Landing

Find Themselves In An Illegal Pot Garden While Responding To A Fire

Smokejumpers responding to a small brush fire in southern Oregon got a bit of a surprise when they landed near the blaze. They found themselves in a pot garden being prepared for the coming growing season.

The team of six based in Redmond, OR, was responding to a fire sparked by lighting near the community of Applegate, OR, last Monday in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The Associated Press reports that the team notified authorities, who hiked back to the remote location and seized more than 1,000 pot plants ready for planting, as well as two guns.

Andrea Carlson of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said that the site has been used before by growers for Mexican drug gangs. She said that there were people at the site when the smokejumpers landed, but it could not be determined whether they were the ones growing the marijuana, so no arrests were made.

The smokejumping team made short work of the fire, which burned less than an acre.

FMI: www.fs.fed.us/fire/people/smokejumpers/RAC/

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