UPDATE 5:15 p.m. Monday: Cal Fire officials released a few more details on the cause of the 150-acre Running Deer Ranch fire at the southern cusp of Nacimiento Lake.
Cal Fire Capt. Zach Nichols said Monday afternoon that emergency responders discovered an illegal marijuana growing operation spread across about 1.5 acres. He said that while the investigation into the fire is in its early stages, officials believe someone involved in the operation likely sparked the blaze.
Portions, but not all, of the marijuana growth burned in the fire, Nichols said.
He said that no suspects had been identified as of Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the fire is fully under control, Nichols said, and crews continue to put out hot spots and conduct other mop-up. He said the entire area should be clear of hot spots by late Tuesday.
No serious injuries were reported in the incident, but Nichols said one firefighter suffered about 60 bee stings after coming across a hive while combating the fire. A second firefighter was also injured, though Nichols did not immediately know the nature or severity of those injuries.
Original story: Cal Fire says the Deer Fire burning in a remote area near Nacimiento Lake was caused by “an individual involved with the harvesting of marijuana growth,” an agency spokeswoman said Sunday evening.
The spokeswoman provided no further information.
The fire remained at 150 acres and was 75 percent contained on Sunday.
Firefighters are working to build a containment line around the fire to prevent it from further spreading and are mopping up hot spots, a Cal Fire spokesman said Sunday afternoon.
Firefighters are having difficulty because of limited access and rocky, steep terrain, the spokesman said.
No further information regarding the firefighter who was injured Saturday was available.
A firefighter also was injured Friday, suffering burns to the feet while fighting the fire.
The Deer Fire started about 12:30 p.m. Friday in a remote area near the Running Deer Ranch southwest of Nacimiento Lake. No structures are threatened in the fire.