Unlike other states, Arizona offers just minimal early release credits for the prisoners it sends to fight its wildfires. But one crew of incarcerated firefighters is fighting for a bill to change that.
Francisco Aguirre-Proano could see the flames long before the scent of smoke reached his nostrils, or the licking heat raised every hair on the back of his neck.
Mount Lemmon was glowing, a lighthouse against the backdrop of the dimly lit highway.
As he watched the flames envelop the mountain—the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains, located north of Tucson, Arizona — Aguirre-Proano felt almost thankful. He and his crew of incarcerated firefighters would need the adrenaline rush to finish the job.