News Release



Contact: Norah West, Communications Specialist (360) 725-8825

May 7, 2013

DOC Deploys 69 Offenders to Help Fight Wildfires Northwest of Mount St. Helens

OLYMPIA – The Department of Corrections on Monday deployed offender fire crews from three minimum-security work camps Monday to help fight wildfires in an area northwest of Mount St. Helens. The crews include a total of 69 offenders plus nine staff members.

Olympic Corrections Center, located near Forks, and Larch Corrections Center, located near Vancouver, Wash., each sent 30-offender crews. Cedar Creek Corrections Center, located south of Olympia, sent a nine-offender line crew.

The offender fire crews are trained to assist the Department of Natural Resources manage wildfires by establishing fire lines, clearing trails for firefighters, and assisting with logistics. The crews include correctional officers.

Only offenders in minimum-security units who are within four years of completing their prison sentence are eligible to join fire crews. Offenders must earn their way on the crews by not committing serious infractions.