Coronavirus Outbreak Affecting State’s Firefighting Crews

The coronavirus pandemic has left the state short on firefighting crews. State prison officials announced they had placed 12 of the state’s 43 inmate fire camps on lock down due to a massive COVID-19 outbreak at a prison in Lassen County that serves as the training center for fire crews. Currently, only 30 of the state’s 77 inmate crews are available to fight wildfires. The shortage has fire officials scrambling to find replacement firefighters and enlisting bulldozer crews and teams that usually clear brush as replacements.