By September’s end, Oregon and California will have experienced more than 6,614 fires in 2017, burning 274,936 collective acres. And that’s only this year’s blazes through Oct. 1. In 2016, Oregon lost 186,317 acres to wildfires, its lowest yearly total since 2010. In 2012, more than one million acres were ravaged by flames — and California didn’t fare much better.
These fires destroy much of Oregon and California’s countryside and forests, which presents a significant concern to outdoor cannabis farmers.
Outdoor marijuana growers, particularly those in Southern Oregon and the Emerald Triangle, are concerned about the fires’ far-reaching effects on their crops. While there’s the obvious threat of fire destroying everything in its path, a surprising concern is the concealed sunlight due to the smoky haze.
In September, Brent Kenyon, veteran grower and owner of Oregon Cannabis Farms in Eagle Point, told OregonLive the smoke creates a “plastic layer” that suffocates the nearly mature plants. This lack of UV light can result in a smaller, less potent product — particularly in the critical end-of-summer flowering period. Furthermore, ashy smoke can…