Wildfires Solutions

California Gubernatorial Candidate Heather Collins

Wildfires are raging throughout California, destroying forests, and endangering the lives of people. There are many reasons why these fires have been so bad this year, but it seems that one major contributing factor is the number of dead trees in California due to drought conditions and previous fires. 


The Governor has declared a state of emergency for California, which I am thankful for. But what about California’s long-term plan? It's not too late to make a difference! We should deploy low-level non-violent inmates from our Department of Corrections to help fight against wildfires in California. Some are already trained how to use firefighting equipment - they could easily do this job while incarcerated because there would be no risk involved for them or other firefighters on the scene. Additionally,  we would  pay very little to the inmates for their services in forms of money and a reduced sentencing.  


Once again, they would be given the incentives of a "paid job" and rewarded for their good behavior with reduced sentencing. We should take advantage of this opportunity to encourage rehabilitation, training that will benefit them after they're released from prison and give back something positive to our community - all at minimal cost to taxpayers!


Low level nonviolent inmates are non-violent, unlike the high-level criminals who have committed heinous crimes.
This way low level offenders can be of service to our state while serving their sentence in jail instead of being released early for good behavior or other reasons.


The more trained hands we get on deck the better to combat our out-of-control wildfires. 


This is a great way to reduce overcrowding in our prisons while also making the world better place by protecting our forests! California's prisoners have played a key role in fighting fires for decades, but inmate fire camps are down to roughly 1,600 inmates as of May 2021. That's less than half of the prisoners the camps housed in 2016.


While we should be grateful for our Active-Duty soldiers, US Forest Service, and our own Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, whom do an outstanding job day in and day out fighting our wildfires; as candidates and elected officials let’s work smarter and not just harder to adequately fight out of control forest fires. 


Have we ever seriously thought about it? We need to look at the benefits of this and follow through. As the climate changes our environmental conditions are changing too. It’s time to think outside of the box and take action into our own hands, lest we lose another incalculable acreage of forest lands in California like what has occurred over this last year alone.


Wildfires are devastating. They destroy forests, businesses, homes and lives. The cost of fighting these fires is enormous and we need all the help we can get.

Our California Department of Corrections (CDC) has a program that allows low-level non-violent inmates to be trained as firefighters within our state prison system. These prisoners do not pose a threat to our communities or other inmates while they serve their sentences in fire camps; however, when they return back into society after having been trained as firefighters, there is no place for them because they have already served their time and paid their debt to society by helping us fight wildfires during the day! This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! It's like paying someone $5 an hour to work for you then telling them "thank you very much" but that your firm does not hire people with criminal records so please leave now!" 

We should encourage our California Department of Corrections to train more low level nonviolent offenders as-soon-as-possible as firefighters to combat our California wildfires.

To reiterate, California is suffering from an unprecedented drought and the wildfires are destroying our homes, communities, & lives. The cost of fighting these fires has become too great for us to bear as a state. It's time we take action now! We must do something about it now before it's too late! To save money on training low-level nonviolent offenders as firefighters so that they can be sent out immediately to fight these fires. This will not only help prevent more loss of life and property but also keep California safe at night when most of the fires occur by having trained professional firefighters already on duty 24/7. I look forward to working with our California Governor Gavin Newsom, fellow gubernatorial candidates, and voters on this important issue for our state, businesses, families, and environment.  Fighting our wildfires requires all of us to work as a team player. As always, better together with Heather!

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