Bay City News

Generator at Marijuana Grow Sparked Loma Fire in Santa Cruz Mountains: Cal Fire

Investigators have determined that the Loma Fire, which burned 28 structures and roughly 4,474 acres in southern Santa Clara County in 2016, was caused by a portable generator at a marijuana grow, according to Cal Fire.

The fire began in the Casa Loma Road area of the Santa Cruz Mountains on Sept. 26, 2016, north of the Santa Cruz County line.

The specific area of origin has been narrowed down, and fire officials said that one of three generators used in a marijuana cultivation operation caused the fire. Law enforcement officials are reportedly still investigating the legality of the grow, according to Cal Fire.

The Loma Fire burned for 16 days until it was contained Oct. 12. At its peak, there were more than 1,950 firefighters battling the blaze with 179 fire engines, 16 helicopters, 6 air tankers, 61 hand crews, 32 bulldozers and 34 water tenders.

Evacuation orders were issued in both Santa Clara and Monterey counties.

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