Some inmates cook for the fire fighters. Others help build fire lines by hand in terrain so rough machines can't do it. But only "minimum-security" inmates are eligible for this popular program - and realignment is slowly but surely shifting non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenders from state prisons to county jails.
Callison: "We're still able to staff the camps. And we believe it's going to be fine for this fire season."
Jeffrey Callison is with the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Callison: "Going forward, though, obviously there's going to need to be some longer-term solution, and it's a priority for all parties concerned because this is an important service."
That solution could involve agreements with individual counties to make their new minimum-security inmates available to help fight fires.