Rim Fire: Prisoners Helping to Battle Massive Blaze
California inmates provide crucial front-line help to fire department.
Using the equivalent of garden tools—chainsaws, axes, and hoes—the crew scraped the ground surrounding the base camp to bare soil, creating a barrier between the fire and the unburned brush and trees, desperately trying to contain a fire that has already burned more than 300 square miles of land and is only about 30 percent contained. (See "Pictures: Battling the Yosemite Rim Fire")
As a kid, Jackson, who is 31, thought he would become a firefighter or cop. Instead, he ended up a prison inmate, sentenced to eight years for first-degree burglary and second-degree robbery. Ironically, thanks to a program partnered by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection