California’s Largest Wildfire Is Threatening Marijuana Farms Worth $20 Million

by : Julia Banim on : 26 Sep 2020 15:52
California Wildfire Is Threatening Marijuana Farms Worth $20 MillionPA Images

Flames from California’s August Complex wildfires are now threatening the marijuana-growing communities of Post Mountain and Trinity Pines.

Trinity Pines has as many as 40 legal weed farms. Each farm is said to have crops that are worth at least half a million dollars, with the current total growing crop estimated to be worth an approximate $20 million.


Farm owners are reportedly reluctant to evacuate the vicinity, as they are keen to protect their plants from being destroyed by the flames or stolen.

firesPA Images

Trinity County Sheriff’s Department narcotics deputy, Nate Trujillo, told the Los Angeles Times that law enforcement officers had gone door to door to warn residents of the dangers of staying, but ‘couldn’t force people to leave’.

The federal incident command team has reportedly been divided into three separate branches on account of the scale of the fires. It’s estimated that as many as 1,000 people are staying put in Post Mountain and Trinity Pines, despite the threat of the fires.


On top of the 40 legal farms, there are reportedly also various farms in illegal growing areas, with this area estimated to be the largest cannabis-producing region in the US.

Trujillo said:

There [are] millions of dollars, millions and millions of dollars of marijuana out there. Some of those plants are 16 feet tall and they are all in the budding stages of growth right now.

WildfiresPA Images

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Fire officials have told those within the communities that they will do everything possible to protect the crops, however they won’t be risking firefighters’ lives to save those who have refused to evacuate.

A 40-foot-wide dozer line has reportedly now been dug around the area, with firefighters intending to use the nearby Highway 36 as a containment line.

Mike McMillan, a spokesperson for the team that manages the northern section of the August Complex, said:

The thing that we need to make clear is we are not going to die to save people. That is not our job.

We are going to knock door to door and tell them once again. However, if they choose to stay and if the fire situation becomes, as we say, very dynamic and very dangerous… we are not going to risk our lives.


Firefighters in California are preparing for hot, dry, windy weather in northern and central areas this weekend; the expected weather could exacerbate multiple major wildfires or even spark new ones.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, California, Now, wildfire


Los Angeles Times and 1 other
  1. Los Angeles Times

    California’s largest-ever fire threatens cannabis farms worth millions. Many won’t evacuate

  2. ABC News

    California braces for power shutoffs and warm, windy weekend