California allows inmates to become firefighters; 4M acres burn in West

Flames from the Bobcat Fire appear above homes in the foothills of Monrovia, Calif. on Friday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Sept. 13 (UPI) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation allowing inmate fire crew members to have careers as firefighters after completing their prison sentences.

The new law comes as the state battles its worst wildfire season in recorded history. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said dozens of fires have burned some 3.1 million acres of land in recent weeks.

“Mariana has led with grace, transparency and courage,” Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. “She embodies the experience Oregon needs to face this crisis, in this moment.”

Officials did not say why Walker, who had served in the role since 2014, was removed.

Also on Saturday, a spokesman for Facebook said the service would begin removing posts containing claims that wildfires in Oregon were set by certain groups.

Since Thursday law enforcement officials and local media outlets have attempted to dispel rumors that antifascist activists deliberately set the fires, and reporters have described being stopped by people carrying guns as they attempt to survey the damage.


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