Only in California

Published on June 16, 2020

Yesterday, a friend of mine almost helped burned down a forest in California. Not on purpose of course. He’s my friend, not a convict (but this story does have convicts in it).

He lives in California and is a Colorado transplant, so he is familiar with forest fires. They’re not new to him. Keep that in mind.

Anyway, as the coronavirus was starting to spread rapidly in California, he decided to head up to his cabin in the mountains. It’s way out in the woods, northeast of Sacramento. Beautiful country. Lots and lots of trees, amazing lakes and rivers and an all-around wonderful place to spend time hiding out from a pandemic.

So, one of the “interesting” things about his property is that his neighbor actually has a pot farm. Yep, you read that right. My friend’s neighbor grows pot. But not just pot. He grows the seedlings (for lack of the actual term he called it) of the best varieties of pot you can grow.

He is in fact the guy who starts the best seedlings for the guys who grow the best pot. Now if you ask me, that’s a cool job to have (since it’s legal in California).

Anyway, the fire. Okay, so my friend is staying at his cabin in the middle of nowhere, next door to a pot farm (he can’t see the neighbor, after all his cabin is on 40 acres). And his neighbor comes and asks him if he can help him burn a bunch of brush. Because “burn season” ends the next day.

So, my friend and his neighbor have a great day of working outdoors, collecting brush and creating a fire break so that they can burn it all without any risk to the thousands of trees around them. Now, this should have been easy, right?

Apparently not as easy as one would think. Because after all their preparation (they even had hoses and fire extinguishers at the ready), they burn the three big piles of brush, pat themselves on the back, and then go their separate ways. Neighbor goes home;my friend goes to make himself a nice cocktail to relax with.

Times goes by and a couple of hours later, my friend goes outside and sees some smoke. “Hmmm” he thinks. “Did the neighbor decide to burn something else?” So, he texts his friend and asks him that question. The very quick reply was, “No! Oh shit!”

Well, sure enough something else was on fire. A large shed were they “pot the pot.” In other words, where they start the little seedlings.

But as soon as my friend runs out the door to get in his truck to go help his neighbor, he seesa CalFire plane circling above him. Seems their little “whoopsie” had been spotted already.

And low and behold, much to their chagrin, 10 fire trucks proceeded to show up to deal with the burning shed.

They put the fire out. And they weren’t really too upset about it. My friend said they were actually pretty cool. They said it was the third incident of the day that they had responded to from planned burns that had gotten out of control. Cool or not, they still gave his neighbor a citation for “letting a fire escape.”

But here is what was really good. Right next to where the fire was, there were pots with 50 good size marijuana plants in them (okay, so apparently the neighbor grows more than just seedlings). Didn’t seem to faze the firefighters though.

So little in fact that when the Fire Captain showed up with the truckload of convicts in orange jumpsuits (who are apparently trained to help with fires), the Fire Chief said, “There’s marijuana plants over there, please keep them away from the fire.” The convicts then dug a fire break around the plants to keep them safe.

The shed was pretty much destroyed, but my friend and his neighbor got a good story and a good laugh out of it.

And at one point, while they were standing around with the Fire Chief, the Fire Captain, and a couple more fireman,his neighbor said, “So, Smores anyone?”

Only in California.

I’m just sayin.’

P.S. I brought you this amusing anecdote because what is happening in the US so infuriates me that I couldn’t even muster the calmness to write about it (most TCD readers know where I stand on it). And as far as Ecuador goes, well I wrote a story about the virus looking like it was getting aggressive again in Cuenca. So, I needed to share a laugh with you all.

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