"Mexican Drug Cartels Set Up Shop in California Parks"

"The damage they do to society is well-known, but drug traffickers, it turns out, also aren't the most environmentally-minded campers. Law enforcement officials say that a wildfire now raging in Santa Barbara's Los Padres National park, burning more than 136 square miles, was sparked by a cooking fire started by the hirelings of a Mexican drug cartel which was growing thousands of marijuana plants in the remote canyons.

Far from an isolated incident, the Los Padres fire, according to law enforcement agents, highlights an alarming trend: the invasion of California wilderness and parklands by armed Mexican drug cartels."

Tim McGirk reports for TIME Aug. 22, 2009.

Source: TIME, 08/26/2009