RIFLE, Colo. (CBS4) — A program that puts Colorado inmates to work fighting wildfires is about to end. The Rifle Correctional Center State Wildland Inmate Fire Team – or SWIFT – has helped fight wildfires in the western part of the state for nearly two decades.
It has been considered a cost-effective service but the program will end after this wildfire season, as the state begins to reorganize inmate job skills programs.READ MORE: Hazy Skies Over Downtown Denver Could Become A Regular Thing During The Summer
The Rifle team is one of three SWIFT teams in the state. The other two are based at the Four Mile Correctional Center in Canon City and the Buena Vista Correctional Center in Buena Vista, Colorado.READ MORE: Denver Venue Requires Proof Of COVID Vaccine, Negative COVID Test For Some Shows
SWIFT crews are available to Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and other agencies to assist in fighting fires. The crews are self-sufficient and come with supervisors, basic tools and equipment, and transportation.MORE NEWS: Denver Public Safety Manager Murphy Robinson Accuses City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca's Chief Of Staff Of Discriminating Against A White Staff Member
“To ensure that the crews function well, the personnel train together and are maintained as crews throughout the year,” the Colorado Correctional Industries website states. “They are available year-round for assistance with non-fire, woods-related programs and projects.”