Hit in head by falling boulder
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced that an inmate firefighter injured yesterday in the Mulholland Fire has died.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, Shawna Lynn Jones, 22, was struck by a boulder that had rolled down a hill. She was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition with major head injuries. Jones was removed from life support after her organs were donated, in keeping with her family’s wishes.
“Her death is a tragic reminder of the danger that inmate firefighters face when they volunteer to confront fires to save homes and lives,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “On behalf of all of us in the department, I send my deepest condolences to her family.”
Jones was a Los Angeles County jail inmate who had joined CDCR’s firefighting program in August 2015 and was assigned to the Malibu Camp, which is operated jointly with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Malibu is one of three camps that house a total of 195 female firefighters.
CDCR maintains a network of 44 conservation camps, in partnership with CAL FIRE. Five of the camps are jointly managed with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The camps house approximately 3,500 inmate firefighters who cut containment lines to stop the spread of wildfires and douse hot spots during clean-up.
Jones is only the third inmate firefighter to die on a fire line since the camp program began in 1943. Female inmates were incorporated into the firefighting program in 1983.