What We Know About The California Wildfires : 1A Incarcerated firefighters make up a significant portion of the crews fighting the wildfires in California. But formerly incarcerated firefighter Rasheed Lockheart wonders: "Why can't our service and our time at these fire camps be our academy? We want equality in pay and the same opportunities as everybody else."

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What We Know About The California Wildfires

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What We Know About The California Wildfires

1A

What We Know About The California Wildfires

What We Know About The California Wildfires

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Local residents sit next to a vineyard as they watch the LNU Lightning Complex fire burning in nearby hills in Healdsburg, California. Justin Sullivan/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Local residents sit next to a vineyard as they watch the LNU Lightning Complex fire burning in nearby hills in Healdsburg, California.

Justin Sullivan/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Firefighters in California continue to battle the wildfires burning across the state.

Recent cooler temperatures helped fire crews make some progress controlling the blazes. But strong winds and hot weather are expected to return this week—conditions that could increase the spread of fires.

Over 1.6 million acres have burned. At least seven fatalities are confirmed. Air quality has suffered.

How can Californians stay safe? How can future wildfires be prevented?

To talk about those questions, as well as the ongoing debate about equal pay and opportunities for formerly incarcerated firefighters, we talked to Brice Bennett, public information officer for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Rachael Myrow, senior editor at KQED's Silicon Valley News Desk, Daniel Swain, climate scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Rasheed Lockheart, a formerly incarcerated firefighter in California.

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