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Monday, Jul 02 2012 04:25 PM

CCI back to normal operations following 33-acre grass fire

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Smoke rises from a grass fire on the grounds of California Correctional Institution on Monday, July 2. The fire was contained at 33 acres and the prison is back to normal operations. No injuries were reported and there was no damage to structures. Photo by Ed Gordon

The California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi is back to normal operations following a 33-acre grass fire that was extinguished at 1:05 p.m. according to Lt. Brian Skaggs, public information officer at the prison.

In a press release Skaggs said the fire started behind Facility E at 11:43 a.m. He added that staff and inmates in the immediate area were evacuated to a safe location.

CCI Fire Department responded as well as mutual aid provided by Kern County Fire and Cal Fire, including ground crews and helicopters. Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas crews were also dispatched to CCI.

The prison returned to normal operations at 2:20 p.m., Skaggs said, noting that there were no staff or inmate injuries as a result of the fire and no structural damage.

He said the cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time. Previously it was reported that an electrical transformer was the cause of the fire.

CCI is a minimum- to maximum-security prison. The prison houses more than 4,600 minimum- and maximum-custody inmates and employs more than 1,800 people.

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