Another fire at massive Chilliwack grow-op site

A remote property on Nixon Road that once housed huge underground bunkers to grow marijuana was the scene of yet another hillside fire.

A remote property on Nixon Road that once housed a huge underground bunker to grow marijuana was the scene of yet another hillside fire.

Chilliwack Fire Department officials got the call Monday morning after neighbours reported seeing some smoke, said Assistant Fire Chief Ian Josephson.

That makes three fires, including a torched vehicle, at the hillside property since 2009 when the massive grow-op was busted, uncovering underground growing rooms with more than 11,000 plants worth about $3 million.

At the time it was dismantled, it was called the largest and most sophisticated pot-growing operation Chilliwack RCMP had ever seen, complete with hydraulic lifts, booby traps and water diverted from a nearby creek.

This week fire crews found the remains of an outbuilding or small barn that had been probably burned overnight Sunday, Josephson said.

Several Nixon Road residents have reported concerns about continued illegal activities and buildings being ransacked at the site which can be accessed through an unlocked gate.

“There were at least two structure fires, including the house last winter,” Josephson said.

Complicating the issue is the fact that the grow-op property was seized by the provincial government through civil forfeiture, according to city officials.

“It’s up to the provincial government to do something about blocking off access to this property,” Josephson said.

Either that or wait for it to be sold, and hope the new owner will secure it.

The hillside property is reportedly up for sale for more than a million dollars.

One of the complicating factors was a court order preventing the previous owner from returning to the property after the police raid, so the grow-op damage was never remediated.

The hands of city enforcement officials are now “tied” to some extent, unless bylaw violations can be proven such as unsightly premises, or unless the province can be pressured to take action on the file.

“It’s a nuisance for us in terms of utilizing our resources, but it’s even more of a nuisance for the neighbours, who are concerned for their safety,” said the fire official.

One area resident, who asked for anonymity for fear of reprisal, said the Nixon Road property has “become the Bailey dump” for every criminal in the Fraser Valley.

“They stripped and torched a pickup there a couple of weeks ago. There is bad stuff going on and it’s an ongoing crime scene.

“But everyone says their hands are tied.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/CHWKjourno

Just Posted

Prominent Chilliwack realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Robert Meissner’s trial for accessing and possessing child pornography

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Q&A with federal Liberal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Francois-Philippe Champagne visited the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 123

Mini Med School events are slated for March

Free info sessions allow attendees a chance to talk face-to-face with local medical professionals

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read