Smokejumpers land in huge pot garden

Wildland firefighters make unexpected find in southern Oregon

Published On: May 10 2013 10:32:07 AM EDT
Smokejumpers find marijuana

Smokejumpers fighting fires in Oregon unknowingly landed in the middle of a huge illegal pot-growing operation in a remote national forest.

The six smokejumpers from a base in Redmond found the site as they were searching for lightning-sparked fires Monday night, The Associated Press reported.

They contacted law enforcement, who hiked into the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and seized two guns and up to 1,500 small marjuana plants.

There were also hundreds of additional holes for planting, the Mail Tribune newspaper reported.

The site near the community of Applegate has been used for drugs before and was being cultivated by growers for Mexican drug gangs, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department said.