- (Reuters/Tim Wimborne)
The forest fires that have been ravaging parts of Australia are also destroying drug labs that were located in the sparsely populated Australian outback.
Similar to drug cartels growing marijuana in pubic parks across the western portion of the United States, police in Australia are also revealing that several drug labs have been discovered in the wake of the forest fires.
Authorities have even stated that some of the fires were set intentionally as the fires closed in on the illegal drug labs.
Reports from Sydney indicate that police arrested two men on Sunday after a new fire started last week in Blue Mountains National Park, which is just west of the city. Officials revealed that fire destroyed more than 50 hectares of brush land in the national park, which is a popular tourist destination visited by thousands of people every year.
"The two sites ... were only accessible by foot and required police to trek through tick, leech and snake-infested scrubland to reach them," according to a statement from the New South Wales Police Department published Monday.
Police stated that two men, which was later revealed to be a father and son, were charged with "the large commercial manufacture of a prohibited drug … and contaminating a water catchment area," according to police.
Officials in Australia stated that currently there are more than 140 separate fires burning throughout both north and west areas of New South Wales, which is Australia's most populated state.
Dry weather coupled with a record breaking heatwave is said to be exacerbating the current fires, and officials are working around the clock to bring the fires under control.
A searing heat-wave had fueled the fires over the past week. Only one person, an elderly firefighter working alone in Tasmania, has died so far in the fires.
The biggest blaze, with a perimeter of 100 km or 60 miles, destroyed around 40,000 hectares- that's 100,000 acres- of bushland and 28 homes around the Warrambungle National Park in NSW.