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Inmate firefighter escapes from Northern California work camp

Inmate firefighter escapes from Northern California work camp
Nicolas Dunning, 32, was discovered missing from the Konocti Conservation Camp on Monday morning. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

Corrections officials are searching for an inmate who escaped from a minimum-security facility in Northern California.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Nicolas Dunning, 32, was discovered missing from the Konocti Conservation Camp on Monday morning.

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The camp in Lake County is home to about 95 minimum-security inmates who help fight wildfires, according to the agency’s website. Lt. Charlene Billings said Dunning was assigned as a firefighter but was not working when he disappeared.

Dunning is the fifth state inmate to escape this month. Three were captured. Authorities are still searching for 27-year-old Justin Franks, who escaped from Folsom State Prison on Dec. 22. Shalom Mendoza, 21, was taken into custody Saturday at a fast-food restaurant in Paso Robles after escaping from San Quentin State Prison three days earlier.

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