RIM fire caused by marijuana grow

Fire Chief Todd McNeil  YouTube screenshot

Fire Chief Todd McNeil
YouTube screenshot

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA – The Rim fire is in its third week and there’s speculation that the fire may have been started by an illegal marijuana grow site.

UPDATE: On Thursday, September 5, officials said the RIM fire was caused by a hunter who started an illegal campfire.

CBS13 found that little nugget of information in a 20 minute YouTube video posted on August 23rd.

Area of fire Google Maps

Area of fire
Google Maps

In the video at approximately 6:17 minutes in, Twain Harte Fire Chief Todd McNeil says, “It started down in the brush. We know its human caused, there’s no lightning in the area,” he said. “Highly suspect it might have been some grow, marijuana grow type thing.”

According to CBS13, the U.S. Forest Service says the marijuana grow is simply a rumor at this stage.

Officials have made progress on the case, but refuse to discuss any details at this time.

The Rim fire, now considered to be the fourth largest fire in California history, has burned over 235,000 acres, equating to more than 350 square miles. As of Tuesday morning the fire was 75 percent contained. There have been 111 structures destroyed, including 11 homes. Currently there are 5,500 structures still being threatened. Over 4,300 firefighters are on scene fighting the blaze.

The area where the fire is burning has not had a fire in close to 100 years, so there’s been plenty of vegetation fueling the blaze.


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