New Mexico Inmates Clearing Forests to Prevent Wildfires

December 4, 2012

A group of New Mexico inmates are helping clear up a patch of Bosque in Pena Blanca, an area devastated by the Los Conchas fire last year.

KQRE-TV reports that winter inmate crews are working to clear out that fuel as fast as possible and helping the state save money.

Inmate crews cost $300 a day, a fraction of what a private company would charge.

A dry winter and severe drought conditions are making forests vulnerable for future wildfires.

Inmates doing the work are all certified wild land firefighters. They’re also dispatched during fire season and can apply for jobs in the field once they’ve finished their sentences.

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