Oregon smoke jumpers skydive into illegal pot garden
Authorities say the site was being cultivated for Mexican drug gangs.
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A team of smoke jumpers parachuting to fight a fire in the mountains of southern Oregon landed in an illegal marijuana garden being prepared for growing season.
The six smoke jumpers from a base in Redmond found the site Monday evening, when there was a rash of lightning strikes.
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Jackson County sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson says the smoke jumpers notified authorities, who hiked into the remote site in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. They seized two guns and more than 1,000 little pot plants.
Carlson says that the site near the community of Applegate was being cultivated by growers for Mexican drug gangs and that it has been used before.
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She says the smoke jumpers saw some people but weren't sure whether they were pot growers, so no one was arrested.
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The smoke jumpers extinguished the fire after it burned less than an acre.
Photo: File photo of a smoke jumper near Sisters, Ore.//Jack Smith/AP
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