California’s fire season is well under way with 14 different blazes, driven by an ongoing drought, burning across the state.

But an unexpected group is on the front lines of firefighting efforts — thousands of California state prisoners.

Nearly 4,000 male inmates are currently battling wildfires across the state, according to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). That means they make up about 40% of the nearly 10,000 firefighters deployed to the wildfires statewide.

They work some of the most harrowing jobs in the firefighting operations — like clearing brush to stop the spread of fires — and assist state and local fire crews Read more…

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Nearly 4,000 prisoners are battling California’s wildfires