October 25, 2014
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) - A federal forestry official says there's no evidence that a fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park started at an illegal marijuana grow site.
Jerry Snyder of the U.S Forest Service said earlier Wednesday that the steep and inaccessible canyon where the Rim Fire started Aug. 17 doesn't have a water source that growers look for when they set up remote gardens.
He added Wednesday afternoon that investigators have officially ruled out the illicit activity as a potential cause. That ends speculation by a local fire chief that the gardens that plague federal land could be to blame.
It could take months for investigators to determine what ignited the blaze that has consumed more than 370 square miles of Sierra Nevada forests.
Snyder also said lightning isn't to blame.
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