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4000 prisoners fighting California wild fires

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It's a common practice in other western states as well.

That's become a common story in Western states. Inmates fight fires in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana; in Oregon more than 800 inmates worked on fires this summer. "We couldn’t afford to have paid firefighters doing the same work the inmate firefighters are doing," says Julie Hutchinson, a battalion chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, better known as Cal Fire. At least two crews of inmates are dispatched to every fire in California — nearly 6,000 this year. Six hundred inmates battled this fall's Rim fire in the Yosemite and Stanislaus national forests.


Since 2003, probably longer.


My dad, a truck driver,, was a volunteer firefighter back in the 60s. I don't know if he got paid....maybe his employer paid his wages. Others around town also volunteered, it was just something the men did because it needed to be done.

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