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Last Year's Devastating Rocky Fire Started By Illegal Pot Grow

Rick McClure / AP

This Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016 photo shows the Summit Inn, a popular roadside diner at the crest of historic Route 66 in Oak Hills, Calif. burns to the ground after a fast burning wildfire swept through the town.

Rick McClure / AP

UPDATE: A wildfire that destroyed 43 homes last year in Lake, Napa and Colusa counties started at an illegal marijuana grow site. The Rocky Fire is blamed on a faulty water heater apparently being used by those who tended the garden of about 100 plants. Investigators say the suspects are believed to have fled the country.The fire burned 108 square miles

 


Officials in charge of the battle against California's newest huge wildfire estimate that only about half of the 4,500 residents of the threatened town of Wrightwood have complied with evacuation orders.

The fire is climbing the flanks of the San Gabriel Mountains, where Wrightwood sits at an elevation around 5,900 feet.

Firefighters were advised of the Wrightwood situation at a dawn briefing Wednesday morning.

San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Peebles says it's very concerning and, in his words, "This is not the time to mess around."

The fire erupted late Tuesday morning in Cajon Pass 60 miles east of Los Angeles and exploded to 30,000 acres, burning an unknown number of homes and shutting down key highways.


Below are current conditions of other fires burning in California: