About 200 female inmates in California are risking their lives and fighting deadly wildfires for $1 an hour, and $2 per day on top of that.
ABC News reports that wildfires sweeping through Northern California have killed at least 31 people, destroyed at least 3,500 structures, and caused more than 20,000 residents to evacuate, per the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
One of the firefighters, Sandra Welsh, told NBC News: “We are the ones that do the line. We are the ones that carry the hose out. We’re the line of defense.”
Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, stated: “They get paid better than any other prison job. The pay is $2 per day day in camp and $1 per hour for time on the fire line.”
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation boasts that the inmates save taxpayers $124 million per year.