Tag Archives: California wildfires

California Wildfires Being Put Out By Overworked, Underpaid, Incarcerated Persons

Photo from Color of Change website

*Wait! I thought only trained personnel could do things like fight fires…Legally, that is. The California wildfires continue to burn. As of Sunday night it has damaged 270,000 acres, destroyed more than 1,000 structures and affected more than 100,000 Californians. An alert sent to CNN says the Thomas fire is still only 45% contained and authorities predict that even with the decreasing winds evident today, it won’t be fully contained until January 7.

So far, no rain in the forecast’s sight.

Many of us remain in absolute awe of the first responder’s and firefighters who have so diligently been working around the clock to contain what has been called the state’s third largest fire in history since reliable record-keeping began in 1932. The 2003 Cedar Fire near San Diego was the largest.

But you’d probably be shocked to learn that a great number of these firefighters are actually from the incarcerated population. It’s more than disturbing to know that not only do we have untrained people being placed in such hazardous conditions; because Firefighters are required to go through rigorous training — take classes in EMT; get a paramedics license, be in good physical condition, be of a certain age range — its even more distressing when you learn these untrained people are working more than 72 hours straight, making less than $1 an hour.

I’ll wait while you look at that again… Continue reading