90 Pot Plants Survive Washington Brush Fire

DUVALL, Wash. (AP) -- Firefighters may have smelled something funky as they battled a 10-acre brush fire along a state highway east of Seattle.

While using heavy equipment to clear vegetation in the path of the 20-foot flames Monday afternoon, firefighters encountered about 90 six-foot marijuana plants that had been hidden in a blackberry bramble, Eastside Fire and Rescue Fire Chief Lee Soptich said.

The pot survived the flames, which were ignited by sparks from grinding equipment used by a state contractor's road crew, but about 60 of the plants were destroyed by a bulldozer as firefighters rooted out hot spots and the rest were seized as evidence, Soptich said.

``We're getting a big chuckle out of it,'' he said Tuesday. ``Never have we had a brush fire end up identifying a pot grow.''

Investigators were checking records to determine who owns the property, but most likely the marijuana was planted without the owner's knowledge, King County sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Fagerstrom said.

``It was a discreet little spot where somebody started their own forest,'' Fagerstrom said. ``Somebody obviously put a lot of time and effort into their care.''