Marijuana up in smoke at Clairview

Marijuana up in smoke at Clairview

12 August 2011

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USA — EMERGENCY services rushed to a rural property near Clairview, about 130km south of Mackay, to fight a bush and grass fire that was threatening a building.

In putting out the fire they discovered several plots growing a large number of marijuana plants, police said yesterday.

It was the same 400ha property where police found 1500 marijuana plants on June 26.

“Authorities attending a bushfire at a rural property in Clairview on Wednesday afternoon allegedly located a large cannabis crop on the grounds,” a police spokeswoman said.

“Around 1pm a fire was reported in the yard and grassy areas surrounding a house situated on the Bruce Hwy, as well as bushland located on the property.

“Several acres of bush were burnt out before the fire was able to be extinguished, with authorities allegedly locating three separate crops of cannabis plants, some of which had allegedly been set alight.

“The fire was extinguished before it spread to the house and adjoining properties and no one was injured.”

Zachary Withers, 22, of Clairview, faced the Mackay Magistrates Court yesterday charged with attempted arson, setting fire to crops and native plants, and producing and possessing cannabis.

He was not required to enter pleas and there was no application for bail. He was remanded in custody until a date in September.

Zachary Withers was on bail for drug-related charges arising from a raid on the same property on June 25. His father Paul Withers, 45, is also on bail.

On that occasion police located 1500 marijuana plants, some up to two metres high, and police alleged there was an elaborate growing system, which included fertilisers, lighting, water tanks, watering hoses and a water pump.

During the June 25 raid police seized a quad bike and a trailer, a vacuum blower and weapons.

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