Inmates are new Calif. firefighter recruits

24 men and 12 women are currently a part of the program

By C1 Staff

SANTEE, Calif.— Inmates could be the next firefighters battling blazes in California. 

The Fire Camp program — started in 1915 in California — currently has 24 men and 12 women from San Diego County jails working to backup professional firefighters, according to Santee Patch.

Fire Camp allows low level offenders to complete their sentence outside of a prison as a support crew responding to wildfires all over California. They also help with community projects including clearing brush, fallen trees or debris, restoring historical structures, flood protection, and maintaining parks. 

The program, intended to prepare inmates for life after prison, is a partnership between the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

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