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2 Firefighting Inmates Hurt

July 21, 1992

Two inmate firefighters were slightly injured Monday afternoon as they worked near a 10-acre brush fire near the border of Orange and Riverside counties, fire officials said.

Both men were hospitalized for heat stroke, said Capt. Dan Young of the Orange County Fire Department, which helped battle the blaze.

The names of the inmates were not released.

The fire broke out shortly after 11 a.m. near the intersection of Ortega Highway and South Main Divide in the Cleveland National Forest.

An inmate from Orange County was flown to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo and was to be held overnight for observation, Young said.

The second inmate, from Riverside County, was flown to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, said Norm Machado, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

Minimum-security inmates often help clear paths for firefighters or equipment during fire season, Young said. They also work on firebreaks.

The fire, which was contained after about two hours, came within a few hundred yards of an unoccupied Girls Scout camp, but there was no damage to the collection of concrete buildings, said Sharon Hewitt, a Girl Scout spokeswoman.

Fire crews were expected to stay at the fire area to make sure embers in the heavy brush did not reignite.

Fire investigators do not yet know what caused the blaze.

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