Incarcerated California youths, trained to fight wildfires, may now be able to find similar jobs once released

Jun 22, 2022
A recently passed law allows some young people trained in firefighting to have their records expunged, opening doors to employment.
Young men from Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp in the Sacramento-area foothills during spring training in May.
Lesley McClurg/KQED

Low pay pushes some federal firefighters to find work elsewhere

Jul 14, 2021
“We all live supermodestly,” a firefighter said. “We’re about being able to do this job that we love, but also sustain life.”
Firefighters battle the Thomas blaze in California in 2017.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Demands on firefighters have never been greater as wildfires become harder to contain

Aug 27, 2018
“Years ago it was a 100-meter dash. Now we're running a marathon," one expert says.
A U.S. forestry firefighter cools a burning home to protect a nearby structure in Deerhorn Valley near Jamul, California, in 2007.
David McNew/Getty Images

Fighting fire with tweets: California uses social media to save lives

Oct 21, 2016
Getting accurate information onto the website and social media — and satisfying the public’s voracious appetite for news — requires an army of public information officers in the field.
The Loma Fire burns in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains in September. The fire would consume more than 4,000 acres—seven square miles—before it was fully contained in October.
Scott Cohn

Even with a break from two bad fire years, Methow Valley businesses still struggle

Sep 29, 2016
Insurance companies are making individual home inspections and are demanding fire improvements from homeowners. Some residents in the area are having difficulty getting insured at all.
Chuck Kisner gives his brood mare and month-old colt some love. Kisner lost nearly everything but his house, his horses and cattle in the last two years of fire in the Methow Valley.
Anna King/Northwest News Network

Insurance companies getting into the firefighting game

Nov 25, 2015
Santa Ana winds in excess of 50 mph can spread fires quicker than ever.

The Valley Fire leaves businesses at a standstill

Sep 14, 2015
Hardester's Market is one of few places open in Middletown, California.

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'Orange slime' used for fighting fires heats debate

Oct 29, 2013
To help fight wildfires, officials often dump orange fire retardant from planes. But some Forest Service employees argue the substance doesn't work as promised.