Bautista Conservation Camp #36


Camp Details

Contact Info

  • 33015 Bautista Rd, Hemet, CA 92544
  • (951) 927-3600  

CDCR Camp Staff

  • Lt. S. Gallow, Camp Commander
  • Sgts. W. Jones III and J. Slider, Assistant Camp Commanders

2021 Camp Statistics

  • CDCR Staff: 11
  • Total number of inmates: 48
  • Total inmate capacity: 120

Camp Products

  • Wood Shop

Community Service Projects

  • Metropolitan Water District
  • Diamond Valley Lake
  • Idyllwild County and State Parks
  • California Department of Fish & Wildlife Multi Species Wildlife Preserves
  • Lake Skinner
  • Lake Mathews
  • Riverside County Parks
  • Cal-Trans
  • San Jacinto State Parks
  • Lake Hemet
  • Valley Wide Parks and Recreation
  • Local Fire Station improvements and maintenance
  • City of Murrieta
  • Soboba Indian Reservation
  • Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center

Camp History

Bautista Conservation Camp #36 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. It’s also known as the sight of the original Bautista springtime exercises. Located approximately feet in elevation, the camp is exposed to a medley of climatic conditions, typical to its high desert terrain. The summer is often dry and hot, while the winter is cold with an occasional snowfall in December through April.

The primary mission of the camp is to provide trained incarcerated hand crews to assist the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) with suppression of wild land fires, emergency flood control, and Search and Rescue. Bautista Conservation Camp 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 Conservation Camp 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. These projects include eradication of nonnative plant species at Diamond Valley Lake and Lake Matthews and fighting the bark beetle infestation in and around the community of Idyllwild. Community projects have also included construction of community centers, fire stations, parks, soccer and baseball fields for Valley Wide Recreation District. Bautista Conservation Camp’s wood shop is in demand throughout Riverside Ranger Unit to design and remodel their offices and living spaces. The camp 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. The California Fire, that was burning Southwest of Hemet in the Domenigoni Mountains, overran Bautista Conservation Camp Crew #3 and its 17 crew members, who were attempting to backfire a handline.  The fire was burning on moderate to steep slopes, in the light vegetation during shifting winds and extreme temperatures. This fire resulted in the death of two Bautista Conservation Camp Crew members, Victor Ferrara and Aaron Perry, and also injured other crew members in the process.

In remembrance of the fallen firefighters of Bautista Conservation Camp and other fallen firefighters throughout the State, a memorial began to take shape and “THE FIREFIGHTER” was officially dedicated in 1997.

Inmate Programs

  • Hobbycraft
  • College Correspondence
  • GED
  • AA/NA
  • Various religious volunteers