Protect Exploited Firefighting Prisoners From COVID-19

Target: Gavin Newsom, Governor of California

Goal: Protect incarcerated wildfire fighters from the high risk of contracting Covid-19.

Inmate firefighters in California face an increased risk of becoming infected with Covid-19 due to lack of resources and cramped conditions. In addition, the state’s prisons are facing drastic spikes in coronavirus cases. As a result, more than one thousand of the incarcerated firefighting crews have been placed under quarantine due to possible exposure to Covid-19.

Prisoners who fight California’s wildfires are highly exploited. In exchange for the often life-threatening work fighting fire, they receive time off their sentence and are paid between two and five dollars a day, plus an extra dollar per hour during an active fire. Such cheap labor allows the state to save between 90 and one hundred million dollars per year.

Incarcerated firefighters are valuable workers who cannot be left behind in the fight against the pandemic. Sign below to demand these prisoners receive greater protections against the coronavirus.


Dear Governor Newsom,

In addition to dangerous work and low pay, incarcerated firefighters now face significant risk of contracting Covid-19.

They have fought some of California’s worst and most dangerous wildfires in exchange for a meager wage and cramped living conditions that do not enable social distancing. They deserve safeguards against the virus just as much as anyone else. I demand that you provide imprisoned firefighters with sufficient resources to protect against the coronavirus.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mel Melcon

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