Inmate fire crew in western Colorado to be dissolved

State

A crew member of the State Wildland Inmate Fire Team from the Rifle Correctional Center clear out dead trees and forest floor debris in Snowmass Village, Colo., Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times via AP)

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Colorado is set to dissolve an inmate hand crew that fights wildfires in the western part of the state.

The Rifle Correctional Center’s State Wildland Inmate Fire Team, SWIFT for short, has been hired to offer its expertise and cost-effective services for nearly two decades. But that’s set to end after this season due to a business reorganization of the Colorado Correctional Industries’ inmate job skills programs across the state.

The Rifle SWIFT team is one of three in the state that has been helping snuff state wildfires and carry out wildfire mitigation. The other two are in Canon City and Buena Vista.

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