Officials Seize Extremely Flammable Fuels, Hundreds of Pounds of Marijuana From Montecito Home in Thomas Fire Evacuation Zone

Authorities seized cans of butane fuel and hundreds of pounds of marijuana from an illegal “honey oil” lab at a Montecito home located in the Thomas Fire mandatory evacuation zone, officials said Sunday.

Authorities seized paraphernalia related to a "honey oil" lab at a Montecito home on Dec. 13, 2017. (Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office)

Authorities seized paraphernalia related to a “honey oil” lab at a Montecito home on Dec. 13, 2017. (Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)

Investigators discovered the items after receiving a report from Thomas Fire responders Wednesday of a potential marijuana butane “honey oil” extraction lab on the 2200 block of Bella Vista Drive in Montecito, according to a statement from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials reported seizing 300 to 500 pounds of cut marijuana, numerous cans of unopened butane fuel, 15 to 20 pounds of hashish, a small amount of finished butane honey oil product, a commercial grade extraction lab and other paraphernalia.

“While obtaining the search warrant and continuing the investigation, flames from the fire were bearing down on the residence and the surrounding area,” the statement said. “Investigators quickly searched the residence and seized evidence related to the extraction lab.”

After investigators took the items, fire personnel stayed behind to protect the structure, officials said.

Explosions of similar extraction labs have injured people and destroyed residences across Santa Barbara County and the U.S., the Sheriff’s Department news release said.

“Additionally, these cases of fuel were left at the residence in the path of the oncoming fire making the situation even more volatile and dangerous,” the statement said.

Officials said they have identified a couple of persons of interest as they continued their investigation.