On October 8, at approximately 6:35 a.m., Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a residential fire in the 8000 Block of Center Drive, Jenny Lind. According to fire staff, the doors and windows were boarded up making entry into the structure and extinguishing the fire extremely difficult and dangerous. This is a characteristic similar to other indoor marijuana grows where the windows and doorways are sealed to conceal the illegal activity inside.

Once the fire was extinguished, an indoor marijuana growing operation was located. Calaveras County Investigators were dispatched to the scene to assist with determining the origin of the fire and to investigate the marijuana cultivation. The Marijuana Enforcement Team inspected the residence and confirmed the residence had been converted into an illegal marijuana cultivation operation. The fire effected the areas within the home which had been converted and it is estimated 1,000 plants were destroyed. (S) Huang Yao (58 years old) of Jenny Lind was present and issued a citation for 11358H&S illegal marijuana cultivation.

Personnel on scene were thankful this preventable incident did not happen during the high wind event projected to occur over the next several days. High winds and low fuel moisture significantly increase fire danger.

This is an ongoing investigation, no further information is available at this time. 

Fire Prevention Tips

• Install and maintain smoke alarms on every floor of your home and within every bedroom. Roughly, 50% of home fire deaths occur during the night while people are sleeping.

• Never leave food cooking unattended, especially deep fryers and other frying equipment.

• Avoid using portable and fixed space heaters, as heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.

• Have a fire plan that gets you out of your home in less than two minutes and practice it.

• Avoid smoking in the house.

• Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds (vegetation) from around house.

• Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters.

• Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.

• Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney.

• Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows.

• Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks.

How to use a Fire Extinguisher

• Pull the pin. Hold the fire extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and remove the pin to unlock it.

• Aim low. Point the nozzle at the base of the fire.

• Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

• Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.