Fire Camps

The Camarillo Center is the only California Conservation Corps residential program located in Southern California. The Camarillo Center partners with CAL FIRE and other organizations for unique and meaningful training and projects.

Cuesta Conservation Camp is a 100-man institution-based inmate fire-fighting camp located on property leased from the California National Guard at Camp San Luis Obispo. Cuesta Conservation Camp (CC 24) was formally activated on May 1, 1962 as CAL FIRE’s 24th conservation camp. 

Ventura Training Center

Ventura Camp  built in 1989  serves the rural areas of Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, parts of
the Los Padres National Forest and provides coverage for the watersheds and recreational areas of Lake Cachuma, Lake Casitas, Lake Piru and Lake Sherwood.  The Ventura Conservation Camp previously served as a juvenile fire camp until it was closed in December 2011 due to the declining juvenile ward population

As of 2018 CAL FIRE operates the Ventura Training Center in partnership with CDCR and CCC

CAL FIRE Conservation Camp History

The Conservation Camp Program was initiated by CDCR to provide able-bodied inmates the opportunity to work on meaningful projects throughout the state. The CDCR road camps were established in 1915. During World War II much of the work force that was used by the Division of Forestry (now known as CAL FIRE), was depleted. The CDCR provided the needed work force by having inmates occupy “temporary camps” to augment the regular firefighting forces. There were 41 “interim camps” during WWII, which were the foundation for the network of camps in operation today. In 1946, the Rainbow Conservation Camp was opened as the first permanent male conservation camp. Rainbow made history again when it converted to a female camp in 1983. The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LAC), in contract with the CDCR, opened five camps in Los Angeles County in the 1980’s.