Inmates Serve Up Thousands of Meals for Lane Firefighters

The California Department of Corrections has a volunteer program that helps firefighting efforts and saves taxpayers $100 million a year.

Posted: Jun. 26, 2018 10:28 PM

Red Bluff, Calif.-- When a major fire strikes, firefighters rely on mutual aid.

That's hand crews, air attack - and then there are the jobs that we talk about less but are still so important.

"There's a large incident, we know it's going to go into extended attack and we know we have to feed firefighters," said Captain Russ Miles of Cal Fire Shasta Trinity County.

Miles oversees the CDCR crew at the mobile kitchen which feeds firefighters coming to and from the fire lines.

The Lane Fire began midday Saturday but quickly grew to burn thousands of acres East of Red Bluff.

More than 1400 firefighters reported to Incident Command at the Tehama District Fairgrounds.

That's where the California Department of Corrections pitches in to keep crews fueled.

"It's plated and it's handed out every 3 seconds a plate going out the window," the captain explained.

How many pounds of food are they serving a day?

"Thousands of pounds of food," said Miles.

22 volunteer inmates are manning the mobile kitchen at incident Command - while they couldn't talk to us on camera, one worker mentioned he was just happy to be a part of the effort.

Last Summer about a quarter of the firefighters that battled the Southern California were actually inmates as well.

"It's more cost-effective, it's for the taxpayer," said Miles.

In fact, the CDCR program saves California taxpayers approximately $100 million a year.

"It's the shining star for the department of corrections and it's under the direction of cal fire, we take them out there and are responsible for their safety and suppression of the fire" said Miles.

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