The Bully Fire, which has burned more than 12,600 acres in Shasta County, is nearly contained. In the two weeks since it ignited, about 2,000 firefighters have battled the blaze. Nearly half of them — 900 — are inmates with the California Department of Corrections. These “low-level offenders” making just $2 a day are a crucial component in how the state battles wildfires.
Yet there is some extra compensation:
Once they’re in the program they never spend a night in a prison facility.
A few other men say they might try firefighting when they’re released, but most, citing the hot, hard work and long hours, say, “No way.”