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Cannabis farms in California are under severe fire risk, says the study

Fires are a growing threat to almost all Californians. Tens of thousands of acres are regularly burned across the state each summer, sending smoke hundreds of miles away.

However, a new study by scientists at the University of California at Berkeley found that the cannabis industry may be most at risk when it comes to wildfires, as 94 percent of the state’s farms are in hot fires.

The study points to a growing problem as the newly legal cannabis industry faces the reality of a hotter, more fire-prone world in a climate crisis.

“Our findings confirm that cannabis cultivation is geographically more threatened by fire than any other agricultural crop in California,” Christopher Dillis, an environmental researcher at UC Berkeley and lead author of the study, told the university.

The study compared the fire risk of cannabis in California with other crops. The results were published in the journal last week The ecosphere.

Overall, they found that cannabis farms were more likely to be in “high” or “very high” fire risk zones than any other crop they looked at. In addition, cannabis farms were generally closer to where fires broke out in five decades.

More than 25 percent of the areas where cannabis was grown were also in areas that will become either new or intensifying hotspots for fires in the next 80 years during the climate crisis.

Other California crops were also at risk from wildfires, most notably grapes. Fires are an increasing problem for vintages in the state who now face the potential of contamination by smoke pollution in their wines.

The study indicates that much of this risk comes down to geography – cannabis is often grown on the north and middle coasts, which are in areas that may be more prone to fires. Much of California’s other crops are grown in the Central Valley, where the risk of fire is much lower. However, many counties in the area have banned cannabis cultivation, even after state legalization, the study notes.

These fires could have a big impact on the cannabis industry in the years to come. California is one of the few states to fully legalize cannabis for recreational and medical use, making it a hot spot for cannabis cultivation.

In addition, California itself is responsible for a full quarter of all legal cannabis sales in the United States.

Hemp farming has also become a vital part of the state’s economy. The study estimates that if 25 percent of California cannabis production was lost, it would have a greater economic impact than the loss of the entire orange crop.

And for cannabis farmers, there may also be a greater financial risk than farmers who grow other crops, as marijuana is still illegal at federal level and crop damage insurance plans are less frequent.

The climate crisis could cause much more drought and extreme heat in the western United States, which could create the perfect conditions for fires to break out and spread. And not only marijuana is at risk.

A recent report found that 800,000 properties in the western United States had at least a 26 percent chance of being burned over the next 30 years.

There were multiple fires in California and other western states this week, including Oregon’s Cedar Creek Fire, which exploded over the weekend and now covers an area the size of Philadelphia.


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