Cal fire says four recent calaveras county fires caused by negligent cannabis growers calaveras county’s most trusted news source calaverasenterprise.com electricity word search

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Meanwhile, Calaveras County Planning Director Peter Maurer said on Thursday that the Appaloosa Fire was caused by someone who has applied to register with the county as a legal commercial grower. Maurer said he found out because a county code enforcement officer cooperated with Cal Fire to investigate that fire.

Among other things, the county urgency ordinance that requires cannabis growers to register charges each farm a $5,000 fee to cover the cost of hiring inspectors to do things that include making sure electrical wiring is up to code. However, Maurer said the system to do that is not yet set up.

Maurer said 942 commercial, caregiver and personal applications were being processed, and five new employees were hired to help with the work, two planners and three office technicians. He said the processing should be complete in three weeks. Then, he said, county staff will be able to begin enforcement activities.

Maurer said last week that the county received more than $3.7 million in registration fees for 733 commercial applications under the county’s urgency ordinance passed on May 10. The money is specifically limited by state law to be spent only on the registration of growers, administration of the program, law enforcement and code enforcement of registered growers.

The Mountain Ranch Road Fire started on June 14. It was contained to a large illegal debris pile created during preparation for marijuana cultivation, according to Cal Fire. The responsible party was burning without a permit and during suspension of permitted debris burns. A citation was issued for burning without a permit. The cost for suppression is estimated to be $7,204.

The Ranch Fire started on June 22, burned one acre of vegetation and was caused by a power generator used to supply a marijuana operation in dry grass. The generator did not have proper clearance around it. The cost to suppress the Ranch Fire is estimated to be $23,733.

The Appaloosa Fire started on July 2 and burned 310 acres of vegetation across multiple properties. The fire was caused by electrical wiring leading to a water source that supplied water to a marijuana growing site, according to Cal Fire. The electrical wiring was not up to code.

Cal Fire personnel issued a citation for negligently causing a fire and allowing the fire to spread to other property. Two firefighters were transported to a hospital for injuries sustained while fighting the fire. The cost for suppression on the Appaloosa Fire is estimated to be $1.3 million.

The Shetland Fire started July 11, burned two acres of vegetation and was caused by electrical arcing from a breaker box. This electrical feed supplied a marijuana operation. The cost for suppression for the Shetland Fire is estimated to be $71,320.

The Public Resources Code requires 10 feet of clearance down to bare mineral earth around any generator or other gas- powered stationary equipment. A shovel and backpack pump, water-type fire extinguisher must also be in the immediate area during operation. All electrical systems must be installed to code. Additionally, all debris burning is currently suspended.