This year, over 4,300 California inmates have helped with the wildfires that have ravaged the state, fighting alongside paid firefighters who treat them the same as any other man who places himself between safety and imminent danger.
For guys like CalFire member Patrick Shaw, he shares this sentiment and wants to do whatever he can to help out his incarcerated comrades.
“We tend to do different types of operations but everyone is running the same risk the whole time,” said Shaw, who is a seasonal firefighter with Cal Fire.
In response to complaints from inmates about lack of reading material, Shaw launched the Prison Fire Project book drive to collect books for inmate fire camps.
Since its inception, over a dozen business have opened their doors to allow book-depositories for the program.
“People have not been bringing stacks, they’ve been bringing boxes,” Black Spring Coffee Company owner Ryan Stark told ABC 7. “It’s just been really remarkable.”
Shaw says he’ll personally deliver the books to the camp before the next fire season in the spring.