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Structure fire in Josephine County believed to be a marijuana drying facility, according to officials

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KERBY, Ore. -- Illinois Valley Fire District responded to a structure fire at 3:05 Sunday morning, November 21.

As crews from the fire district, Grants Pass Fire and Rescue, and AMR fought the flames, officials discovered hemp and marijuana plants.

Newswatch 12 obtained that information after speaking with John Holmes, the Fire Chief for IVFD.

"We're not sure if it was a legal or illegal grow but it looked like a drying operation with all of the marijuana or hemp that was inside."

Marijuana drying is a common procedure practiced in Southern Oregon by people in the cannabis industry during the late fall and early winter months.

In 2019, Newswatch 12 reported several fires that broke out at hemp and marijuana facilities.

Processes for marijuana could include flammable materials like butane and propane, which have a history across the use of leading to fires erupting.

Newswatch 12 is continuing to follow the story as investigators uncover more details.