“California’s Largest-Ever Fire Threatens Cannabis Farms Worth Millions”

“SACRAMENTO — Nate Trujillo sat on a windy ridge and watched California’s largest wildfire, the August Complex, work its way toward the cannabis-growing enclave of Post Mountain-Trinity Pines, where many of the locals are refusing to evacuate.

Law enforcement officers went door to door warning of the danger a few days ago, but “we couldn’t force people to leave,” said Trujillo, a narcotics deputy in the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department. “It’s mainly growers. And a lot of them, they don’t want to leave because that is their livelihood.”

It is a critical time of year in the Emerald Triangle, a three-county corner of Northern California that by some estimates is the nation’s largest cannabis-producing region.

Trinity Pines alone is home to up to 40 legal farms, with more than 10 times that number of illegal grows hidden off its dirt roads, according to people familiar with this part of the Trinity Alps, inland from Humboldt.”

Anita Chabria reports for the Los Angeles Times September 24, 2020.