MALIBU – A Los Angeles County Jail inmate firefighter died Friday after getting injured while battling a brushfire that scorched about 10 acres along the Malibu ridgeline, according to the California Department of Corrections.
Twenty-two-year-old Shawna Lynn Jones was struck by a boulder that rolled down about 100-feet down a hill Thursday morning.
Firefighters immediately began treatment and CPR, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. She was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center with critical injuries, where she was removed from life support this morning.
Jones was part of the CDCR firefighting program. She’s only the third inmate firefighter to die on the fire line since the program launched in 1943.
“Her death is a tragic reminder of the danger that inmate firefighters face when they volunteer to confront fires to save homes and lives,” CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan said. “On behalf of all of us in the department, I send my deepest condolences to her family.”
Meanwhile, the fire was 95 percent contained as of 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
The blaze started in the area of Mulholland Highway and Bardman Street about 3 a.m. Thursday. About 200 firefighters were sent to the scene, said county fire Dispatch Supervisor Rey Dong.
By about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, the fire was about 35 percent contained, and firefighters had stopped the flames from spreading further, said county fire Inspector Randall Wright.
The fire was fought by fire crews from Los Angeles and Ventura counties and three water-dropping helicopters. Its cause remained under investigation, according to Ornelas.
The fire burned in heavy brush, working its way uphill in some spots, and authorities shut down Mulholland Highway in both directions near the fire area, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Residents of nearby homes were asked to evacuate, according to authorities. However, no mandatory evacuations were ordered, Dong said.