Close to 1,500 inmates have been sent to battle the wildfires in Northern California. They are paid less than minimum wage, and some critics have decried the state program slave labor.
As flames consume parts of California, an unexpected group of firefighters has put their lives at risk to protect communities: prison inmates.
For $2 per day — and another $1 an hour when battling fires — qualified inmates can volunteer to help authorities combat fires.
More than 1,500 of the roughly 9,000 firefighters dealing with the current fires are through the state's Conservation Camp Program, which began working with fire officials to add firefighters in the 1940s.