Buckeye prison inmates to help fight Pipeline, Haywire fires near Flagstaff

Hundreds of firefighters are battling the Pipeline and Haywire Fires burning in the Coconino National Forest, including a crew from Lewis Prison out in Buckeye.

Sergeant Jeremy Hoffman with the Arizona Dept. of Corrections says there are nine sergeants, including himself, and 24 inmates from the prison who are part of the state's correctional Wildland Fire Crews.

"We probably have about 90% of our guys that leave the Department of Corrections and go to other fire opportunities, like whether they’re working for one of these hotshot crews…we have guys who work at intel in dispatch," Hoffman said. "We have guys all over the state."

There's a strict vetting process to become part of the crew.

"They have to be under five years left with the department, no disciplinary, no major crime, no escapes, no theft," said Hoffman.

The Lewis crew stays at the fire command center. They have tents set up nearby, and will remain here until they're no longer needed in Flagstaff.

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