Inmate firefighter critically hurt battling wildfire

The firefighter was rescued by helicopter to the hospital; initial reports suggest she was struck by a falling rock

Scroll to the bottom to watch the rescue on video.

The Los Angeles Time 

MALIBU, Calif. — An inmate working on a fire crew battling a Malibu brush fire Thursday morning suffered severe injuries and was taken by helicopter to a hospital, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Randall Wright said.

Initial scanner reports said the woman was struck by falling rock. Wright could not confirm how the inmate was injured.

The fire broke out shortly before 3 a.m., about two miles north of Pacific Coast Highway on Mulholland Highway, fire officials said. Twenty acres burned overnight; by 8 a.m., the blaze was 35% contained. 

"We have stopped the forward progress of the fire," Wright said. 

No structures were damaged, officials said.

A children's camp near the burn area had not been evacuated but was prepared to if necessary, Sgt. David Joyce of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Fire crews made up of nonviolent state prisoners have been part of California's wildfire-fighting resources since the late 1940s. Female inmates, however, have been used more recently and were first sent to the fire lines in 1983, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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