Conservation (Fire) Camps

Parole Agents at a meeting

Facts and figures

Total Staff (CDCR) 2014: 9           
Total Staffing (CAL-FIRE/LAC) 2014: 10
Total # Inmates (as of 10/28/2014): 91

Community service projects

Corona Ponds
Southern Region Head Quarters
San Bernardino Unit Head Quarter
California Institute Menís Gun Range
Fish & Game
Chino Hills
Corona Parks and Recreation
Corona Airport
Carbon Canyon
Chino Creek Clean-Up
Chino Hills State Park
Stark Clean-Up, CDC&R
Doheny State Beach / Park
San Clemente State Beach / Park
San Onofre State Beach / Park
Lanterman State Hospital
Orange County Coast Keeper Garden
CDCR Facility Maintenance (Stark, Norwalk, Nellis)


Welcome to Prado Conservation Camp #28

Prado Conservation Camp Logo

14467 Central Ave., Chino, CA. 91710
PH: (909) 597-3917

Camp Staff (CDCR)

Lieutenant M. díArcy, Camp Commander

Sergeant R. Vera, Assistant Camp Commander
J. Bain, Correctional Officer
M. Camacho, Correctional Officer
T. Collins, Correctional Officer
S. Esqueda, Correctional Officer
W. Jones III, Correctional Officer
P. Vanderford, Correctional Officer
O. Vargas, Correctional Officer

Camp History

Prado Conservation Camp opened on October 1, 1963 and is located in San Bernardino County, 2 miles south of Chino on Central Avenue. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL Fire) jointly operate the Camp. Prado Conservation Camp is under the CDCR Administrative Supervision of Sierra Conservation Center (SCC). CAL Fire management direction is provided by the San Bernardino Unit. The camp has an annual operating budget of approximately $1.3 million dollars. The cost of housing an inmate at the Camp is approximately $16,000 dollars a year. The primary mission of the Camp is to provide inmate fire crews for fire suppression principally in San Bernardino County. The camp is centrally located for immediate response to 5 different counties, but crews may respond anywhere in the State. In addition to fire suppression, inmate hand crews provide a work force for conservation projects. The primary project work of the Camp is fire defense improvements, general weed abatement, and public recreation area beautification on tax supported government properties in the local area.

Inmate Programs

Inmates perform various In-Camp projects that include maintenance, welding, equipment repair, and carpentry. While serving their prison terms, inmates learn valuable experience and work skills. The training the inmates receive at Prado Camp is not only that of hard work and strong work ethic, but teamwork, self-esteem, and the recognition of a job well done. In addition, eligible Prado Inmates participate in a G.E.D. / College program in conjunction with the California Institute for Men in Chino. The experiences on the fire line and on their work projects are life skills that will continue to follow the Prado inmates once they are released and return back to their communities.

Prado Camp has a designed capacity for 80 male minimum custody inmates; however, currently the Camp has a total population of 91 inmates. This represents four 17-man inmate fire crews. The fourth crew is made up of the only inmate Heli-Tack crew in the State of California. In addition to the inmate fire crews, Prado Conservation Camp has a Mobile Fire Kitchen Unit (MKU). This MKU may be dispatched to feed in excess of 3,000 fire line meals to feed fire fighters anywhere in the State. Prado Camp also serves as a mobilization center for fires in Southern California. During this operation the Camp may hold as many as 1000 inmates and fire fighters from all over the State, waiting to respond to fires as they are dispatched by CAL Fire.

Community Projects in Detail

  • Corona Ponds: Removal of non-native species from ponds. Removal of Arundo & other non-native species in the surrounding area.
  • Southern Region Head Quarters: General maintenance & fire hazard reduction.
  • San Bernardino Unit Head Quarter: General fire hazard reduction as well as general maintenance of Ranger Unit Facility and Stations.
  • Yucaipa: General maintenance around fire station, and various jobs to include but not limited to small construction, weed abatement, perimeter clean-up, and fuels reduction.
  • California Institute Menís Gun Range: Ground maintenance, trash pick up, fire threat reduction, and building target frames.
  • Fish & Game: Maintenance of Chino Fisheries Base: Weed abatement work for fire control / prevention to include but not limited to trimming bushes and trees and miscellaneous clean-up as needed.
  • Chino Hills: General maintenance around park, and various jobs to include but not limited to small construction, weed abatement, perimeter clean-up, fuels reduction, and trail maintenance.
  • Corona Parks and Recreation: Provide Clearing and chipping of dead brush, also vegetation removal and transport to trash bins. This project will reduce the dead fuel loading in areas with close proximity to residences with hopes to minimize the fire potential in the area.
  • Corona Airport: Cut and remove trees and saplings in the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ), south ditch area, south & north flood walls. Also clear limbs and bushes.
  • Carbon Canyon: Mosaic fuels treatment including brush and dead tree removal and limbing of ladder fuels in green tree areas. Also to include chipping of cut materials.
  • Chino Creek Clean-Up: Cut and remove debris from bed and bank of Chino Creek. This project also includes the construction of trails to provide access to creek and to facilitate the debris removal process. The reasonable use of chain saws is permitted to assist in creating trails.
  • Chino Hills State Park: Fuel break maintenance, vegetation management, trail maintenance and repair, tree felling/trimming & road/drainage repair at creek crossings and drainage aprons; using various methods such as the use of hand tools, chainsaws and other mechanized equipment.
  • Stark Clean-Up, CDC&R: The closure of the facility from DJJ has resulted in the need to maintain the facility. The crews are needed to collect and remove trash and debris. Some of the areas behind the buildings in these sectors may need weed abated. This work in needed to remove trash that will attract rodents and loose articles that would increase the risk for fire. There are also tools that need to be collected and secured as they present a security risk.
  • Devore: General maintenance around fire station during winter months when station is not in use. Various jobs to include but not limited to small construction, weed abatement, perimeter clean-up, and fuels reduction.
  • Doheny State Beach / Park: General hazard reduction and maintenance at various State Park locations.
  • San Clemente State Beach / Park: General hazard reduction and maintenance at various State Park locations.
  • San Onofre State Beach / Park: General hazard reduction and maintenance at miscellaneous State park locations.
  • Lanterman State Hospital: Cleaning warehouse and moving equipment and furniture as well as general fire hazard reduction on grounds. As well as minor construction and general maintenance.
  • Orange County Coast Keeper Garden: Removal of weeds and materials, mulch removal, spreading decomposed granite, picking up sandbags, removing gravel, light path construction, placement of boulders, and use of drills / hammers / shovels.
  • CDCR Facility Maintenance (Stark, Norwalk, Nellis): Grounds & vegetation maintenance, light repairs, general clean-up.
  • ANF FUELS: Hazard fuels reduction at Tanbark Research Facility, maintenance of fuel break, and hazard reduction at several camp grounds.