REDDING (CBS13) – A Sacramento man by the name of Freddie Alexander Smoke III has been arrested for starting the Bully Fire in Shasta County.

Cal Fire officials believe that Smoke was driving a rental truck in the area where the Bully Fire started Friday afternoon when part of the truck’s exhaust hit dry grass and sparked a flame. Further, officials say, Smoke was trying to deliver soil conditioner to an illegal marijuana grow site near Roaring Creek and Sargent Roads.

More than 180 marijuana plants were later found in the area.

Smoke – who was arrested at the scene of the fire – has been charged with recklessly causing a fire and marijuana cultivation, Cal Fire says.

As of Saturday evening, according to Cal Fire, the Bully Fire has burned 2,930 acres and is only 10 percent contained. However, Cal Fire lifted mandatory evacuations early Saturday night as firefighters continued to make progress.

Cal Fire also notes that another illegal marijuana grow site was found back on June 24, 2010 in the same area of this year’s find. Authorities discovered the grow site after responding to the area to fight a 15 acre vegetation fire sparked by illegal debris burning. No suspects were arrested in the 2010 incident, however.


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