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In a conservative Northern California county, a team of Mexican immigrants helps battle the Carr fire
by Ruben Vives
Los Angeles Times Translate This Article
3 August 2018
On 3 August 2018 Los Angeles Times reported:
Behind River Ridge Terrace in Redding, where the monstrous Carr fire had destroyed homes, a team of 20 men used shovels to stab the charred earth. Under the blazing sun, the clinking of metal stopped when one of the men scooping dirt out from under a tree spotted smoke rising from the ground. ... From afar, the mop-up operation was typical firefighting work, with one exception -- it was being done by mostly Mexican immigrants who spend their off-seasons picking oranges, lemons, and cherries across Washington, Oregon, and California.
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Each year, thousands of immigrants work as wildland firefighters, plying the trade at a time when extreme weather is producing larger and more destructive fires in the West. ...
For the first time in its 110-year history, the U.S. Forest Service has spent more than 50 percent of its budget to suppress the nation's wildfires. Fire seasons are also 78 days longer than in 1970s, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Under these conditions, every bit of muscle helps -- and field workers know hard labor.
A 2007 report by the American Immigration Council found that a significant number of wildland firefighters were immigrants, mostly Mexican-born men.
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