May 292012

Vallejo firefighters battled their third marijuana house fire this year after a vacant house with hundreds of plants inside caught fire Monday evening.

“The whole house had been converted to a grow house,” a fire official told the Vallejo Times-Herald. “There were over 300 plants” inside.

The Times-Herald also reported that two recent residential fires that turned out to be rented homes converted into marijuana-growing facilities have prompted the Vallejo Fire Department to assess what could be a new threat for firefighters and the city.

In Fresno, neither county nor city officials have publicly discussed the impact of marijuana grow houses on fire safety and neighborhood crime. In May, the Fresno Planning Commission recommended adoption of a police-led effort to ban all outdoor cultivation of medical cannabis, even though the ban will increase the use of residences and other buildings for marijuana cultivation, both legal and illegal. The permanent ban on growing marijuana outdoors is expected to be considered by the Fresno City Council sometime in June.

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