WEED (AP/CBS13) — Deputies shot and killed a man who pulled a gun as they tried to keep him out of a complex of marijuana farms in an area under evacuation orders as a raging wildfire threatened communities, authorities said.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said the man was trying to drive into the Mount Shasta Vista subdivision on Monday and pointed a handgun at the group of officers that included a sheriff’s deputy and local police.READ MORE: Gold Artifacts Stolen In Sacramento History Museum Break-in
Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue said it appears that the suspect may have fired a couple of rounds in the gun battle.
Law enforcement officers killed the man, who was not immediately identified.
The subdivision has been converted into a huge network of marijuana farms mostly run by Hmong families. The county has banned large-scale marijuana cultivation but thousands of pot greenhouses have sprung up. Law enforcement efforts to shut them down have been countered with claims of racial discrimination.READ MORE: 44 Structures Now Destroyed As Dixie Fire Grows To 240,795 Acres
Ignited by lightning on June 24, the fire is burning brush and timber in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest north of the town of Weed, about 250 miles (402 kilometers) north of San Francisco.
Nearly 500 firefighters were battling the flames in rough and rocky terrain.
They faced a tougher fight because the region was under excessive-heat warnings, with high temperatures expected to range from 100 degrees (38 Celsius) to 110 degrees (43 Celsius).
It comes as an unprecedented heat wave in the Pacific Northwest broke temperature records in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, this week and moved inland Tuesday. Climate change is making such extreme weather events more likely and more intense.MORE NEWS: Search Continues For Woman Missing Following Boating Accident
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