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US wildfires

More than 100 large wildfires in US as new blazes erupt

Six large new wildfires erupted in the United States, pushing the number of major active blazes nationwide to over 100, with more expected to break out sparked by lightning strikes on bone-dry terrain, authorities said on Saturday. More than 30,000 personnel, including firefighters from across the United States and nearly 140 from Australia and New Zealand, were battling the blazes that have consumed more than 1.6 million acres (648,000 hectares), according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. “We are…

California prisoners fight wildfires for one dollar an hour

CALIFORNIA: Fresh out of prison, Alejandro Rangel longs to keep doing the job he did as an inmate for one dollar an hour: fight forest fires. For more than two years, he worked with one of some 200 crews of inmate-firefighters who in summer and fall spend more time battling blazes in the forests of California than sitting behind bars. This week, for instance, 553 inmates were sent to help take on the blazes ravaging the wine country north of San Francisco. In prison, these people are prisoners. But outside they are…