Responding to Governor Schwarzenegger's direction for state agencies to assist the firefighting efforts in southern California, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is mobilizing fire department emergency strike teams from prisons throughout the state. The strike teams' deployments are being coordinated through the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
"Consistent with state and federal emergency declarations, I am directing staff and fire departments at all of the state's prisons to mobilize and direct available firefighting resources to southern California immediately," said Governor Schwarzenegger.
The first CDCR strike team made up of six fire engines and 18 fire captains from the California Correctional Institution, California Men's Colony, California Rehabilitation Center, Centinela State Prison, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, Correctional Training Facility and Salinas Valley State Prison was deployed yesterday to assist in fire suppression activities. Additionally, personnel and one fire engine from Mule Creek State Prison joined a strike team deployed from Amador County to southern California and a fire captain from Calipatria State Prison is assisting the City of Calipatria Fire Department.
CDCR is also currently mobilizing another strike team from several Central Valley prisons to be ready for deployment. Engines, equipment and personnel are being assembled from Avenal State Prison, Folsom State Prison, California State Prison-Solano, Kern Valley State Prison, North Kern State Prison, Pleasant Valley State Prison and Wasco State Prison as part of this second wave.
In addition to the strike teams, the department has more than 2,640 trained inmate firefighters supervised by more than 170 custody staff from the Conservation Camp Program actively fighting the southern California wildfires today after being deployed by Governor Schwarzenegger.