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Inmate Dies After Fighting Buck Fire

The inmate, 44-year-old Jimmy Randolph, had been on firefighting duties.

Fire commanders expect to declare full control today of the seven-day-old officials investigate the death of an inmate who had been serving as a firefighter.

The lightning-sparked blaze, which broke out in the area of Sage and Lewis Valley roads in Sage on Tuesday, was 100 percent contained Friday, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. Crews spent Sunday improving containment lines and patrolling for hot spots, department spokeswoman Jody Hagemann said.

A Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp inmate died at Desert Regional Hospital Sunday, and his death is under investigation by Cal Fire and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The inmate, 44-year-old Jimmy Randolph, had been on firefighting duties.

"Prior to becoming ill on Saturday morning ..., Randolph had been assigned to the Buck fire in Hemet," according to a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation statement. He died with his family at his bedside.

Randolph was serving an 8-year sentence for petty theft with priors and was scheduled for parole this October, according to the statement.

Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp, located in the Angeles National Forest in northeastern Los Angeles County, houses fewer than 150 minimum security inmates. Operated jointly by Cal Fire and the Department of Corrections, its "primary mission is to provide inmate fire crews to Cal Fire for fire suppression, pre-fire and hazardous fuel reduction projects in Los Angeles, Kern and San Bernardino Counties," the Department of Corrections statement said.

The Buck fire claimed five minor injuries, Hagemann said.

Eboniece August 21, 2012 at 08:10 PM
thank u all for all the kind words my uncle will be missed.
Adrian August 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM
@Ebo...your uncle made a great sacrifice. You should be proud of his legacy. How many houses are still standing thanks to his bravery...
Badangel August 22, 2012 at 01:34 PM
several petty thefts equal felony...I'm sure there's more to it and I doubt it was a stick of gum...
Badangel August 22, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Though he died an inmate near freedom. Dont blame California for his death..If he had'nt stole property not belonging to him, he would'nt have died in custody. Besides not knowing the cause of heart attack, heat etc..I'm positive it was'nt leithel injection, electric chair or hanging by the state of Ca.
loveconquest August 22, 2012 at 05:14 PM
That was a very hard fire to fight. Regardless of what he did not everybody can go to fire camp and get credentials to actually go out and fight its a very hard process and only given to inmates that have low security. They work those men very hard with lil sleep its funny how people are so negative lacking real facts

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