Cause of Rim Fire could take months to determine

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In this Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a fire crew stands watch along a fire break near a burn operation on the southern flank of the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)

In this Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a fire crew stands watch along a fire break near a burn operation on the southern flank of the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A federal forestry official says it’s unlikely a fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park started at an illegal marijuana grow site.

Jerry Snyder of the U.S Forest Service said Wednesday that the steep and inaccessible canyon where the Rim Fire started Aug. 17 doesn’t have a water source that growers look for when they set up remote gardens.

Snyder also said lightning isn’t to blame.

It could take months for investigators to determine what ignited the blaze that has consumed more than 370 square miles of Sierra Nevada forests.

Snyder said that as the fire heads into granite outcroppings, some firefighters have begun work to save patches of forests and meadows inside the fire’s footprint. Snyder said they are trying to save wildlife habitat and historic buildings.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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