Dwindling Inmate Firefighter Population Forces California to Hire More Expensive Crews


Governor Gavin Newsom is looking to hire firefighters to battle the inevitable threat of statewide firefights since the inmate firefighter population in California has dwindled in numbers.

Local law enforcement told FOX40 Sunday that the ramp-up in firefighters will cost the state millions compared to the historically low-cost inmate firefighter program but it’s an issue they saw coming.

“It’s really sad that it’s come to this,” said Kings County Sheriff David Robinson, who is also president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association. “We knew that realigning state prison inmates to county jail was absolutely going to have an impact on the inmate firefighters.”

The inmate firefighter program sent low-level prison inmates to fire camps, where they would learn how to fight fires, especially wildland fires.


By: Rowena Shaddox
Published: Fox40

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