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Saturday, May 27, 2017

California inmate firefighter killed in line of duty

One of thousands of prison inmate volunteers trained to fight wildfires in California was killed by a falling tree in the far northwestern corner of the state, marking the fourth such fatality in 60 years, state corrections officials said on Thursday.
Matthew Beck, 26, who had been serving a six-year sentence for burglary and was due to be paroled in October, was leading a crew in clearing brush to contain a fire in the Hoopa Valley area of Del Norte County on Wednesday. He was struck by a tall, uprooted tree and suffered fatal head, neck and back injuries, officials said.
He died before he could be evacuated from the remote area, the state corrections department said.
Beck was one of roughly 3,900 specially trained prison inmates, all volunteers and all non-violent offenders, who form the backbone of California’s wildfire protection force.
California inmate firefighter killed in line of duty

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