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Inmate Firefighter Dies After Being Hit By Boulder Fighting Malibu Fire
A female inmate firefighter died from injuries related to fighting the Malibu brush fire, corrections officials say.
Shawna Lynn Jones, 22, was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center and listed in critical condition on Thursday after she was hit in the head by a boulder while fighting the fire. She was working with a hand crew in a steep ravine when it happened, KTLA reports.
She was later taken off life support and her organs were donated, which is what her family wanted, officials said in an online posting. She died this morning, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Luis Patino told LAist.
She is the third inmate firefighter to die in the line of duty since the program started in 1943, according to officials. Female inmates joined the program in 1983.
"Her death is a tragic reminder of the danger that inmate firefighters face when they volunteer to confront fires to save homes and lives," CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan said in a statement. "On behalf of all of us in the department, I send my deepest condolences to her family."
Jones, a county jail inmate, joined the firefighting program in August, assigned to the Malibu camp, which is jointly run by Los Angeles County Fire Department, the post says.
In order to be an inmate firefighter, the inmate has to be sentenced to the Los Angeles County jail or a state prison. The inmates have to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as have non-violent convictions. Inmates who participate earn a higher rate of good time credits, which reduces their time served, Patino said.
The fire started Thursday morning around 3 a.m. and was doused by 6:29 p.m., according to City News Service. It burned about 10 acres and the cause is still under investigation.