LOOK: Inmates Become Heroes In Battle Against California Wildfire
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Many Californians owe the safety of their homes and loved ones to the firefighters battling the wildfire that's been engulfing the rim of Yosemite National Park since mid-August.
What they don't know, however, is that 673 of those brave men and women happen to be convicts.
California's Conservation Camp initiative, a joint effort by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, is a voluntary program that allows inmates to take on the role of firefighters for $1 an hour.
"They are in the thick of it," Capt. Jorge Santana of the CDCR told NBC. "They work 24-hour shifts. They sleep in tents at base camp. They work side-by-side with other firefighters."
More than 600 male and 52 female prisoners are currently helping fight the Yosemite blaze by cutting containment lines that prevent further spread of the fire, which has become the sixth largest in state history, NBC reports.
"A lot of peopl
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