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Specially trained prison crews are being deployed to help with wildland fires outside Tucson and Phoenix.

State prisoners from all over Arizona, including some from Safford, have been deployed to help fight the Bighorn Fire outside of Tucson and the Tonto National Forest Bush Fire.

The 113 prisoners are low-level offenders who are trained to be professional wildland firefighters, according to a news release from the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry.

Each year, the crews work during wildfire season to help with suppression efforts as well as brush abatement outside of the fire season.

Early in the management of COVID-19, ADCRR restricted outside work crews as a precautionary measure.

The prison fire crews will work and be housed apart from other firefighter crews and once done they'll be quarantined, monitored for any symptoms for 14 days, and undergo COVID-19 testing to ensure they are free of COVID-19 prior to returning to their respective complexes.

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