33015 Bautista Canyon Rd, Hemet, CA. 92544
Total Staff (CDCR) 2016: 11
Total Staffing (CAL-FIRE/LAC) 2016: 16
Total # Inmates (as of 04/12/2016): 90
The camp is nestled in the Historical Bautista Canyon, the route used by the Conquistador Juan Bautista de Anza in his discovery of the Riverside and San Bernardino Valleys. Also known as the sight of the original Bautista springtime exercises. Located some 3000 feet in elevation, the camp is exposed to a medley of climatic conditions, typical to its high desert terrain. Often the summer is dry and hot, while the winter is cold, with an occasional snowfall in the months of December through April.
The primary mission of the camp is to provide trained hand crews to assist the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection with suppression of wild land fires, emergency flood control, and Search and Rescue. Bautista has proudly represented the camp program by responding to emergency incidents from the borders of Oregon to Mexico and the Pacific Ocean to Nevada/Arizona.
Bautista has a maximum capacity of 120 inmates, which provide six trained firefighting hand crews. When not responding to emergency incidents, the inmates' work on conservation projects including eradication of nonnative plant species at Diamond Valley Lake and Lake Matthews, fighting the bark beetle infestation in and around the community of Idyllwild. Community projects have included construction of community centers, fire stations, parks, and soccer and baseball fields for Valley Wide Recreation District. Bautista’s cabinet shop is in demand throughout Riverside Ranger Unit, to design and remodel their offices and living spaces. Bautista is also known for their expertise in making plaques, signs, and distinctive logos.
On June 27, 1990, the worst tragedy that a camp could endure hit Bautista. Seventeen Bautista crewmembers were overrun while battling a fire in the Domenigoni Mountains, Southwest of Hemet. This fire resulted in the death of two Bautista crew members, Victor Ferrara and Aaron Perry.
In remembrance of the fallen firefighters of Bautista and fallen firefighters throughout the State, a memorial began to take shape and“THE FIREFIGHTER” was dedicated in 1997.