Growlersburg Conservation Camp #33
Growlersburg Conservation Camp #33 is jointly operated by CDCR and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The primary mission of the camp is to support local, state, and federal agencies as they respond to emergencies such as fires and floods. Incarcerated hand crews also complete community service and conservation projects year-round.
5440 Longview Lane, Georgetown, CA 95634
Camp Staff (CDCR)
- Lt. Hill, Camp Commander
- Sgt. T. Stowers and Sgt. M. Gangl, Assistant Camp Commanders
About Growlersburg Conservation Camp #33
Growlersburg Conservation Camp #33 opened in 1967. In the beginning, the camp housed 80 incarcerated people to be utilized as hand crews for fighting wild land fires and other public service projects. The camp is located on 80 acres approximately 1.5 miles north of the city of Georgetown, off of Highway 193 in El Dorado County and between the cities of Placerville and Auburn.
In 1980, the dormitory building increased in size, (nearly 40%), to house 120 incarcerated people. This expanded the fire crew numbers from three crews to five hand crews. During the remodel, a dormitory was added and the kitchen, dining room and waste water treatment plant were left as originally constructed. Today, Growlersburg hand crews work in assignments devoted exclusively to serving the community, local, state, and federal agencies in wild land fire suppression and other projects.
Growlersburg Conservation Camp uses two mobile dimension sawmills. Camp participants produce stock to build picnic tables to sell to a variety of public agencies. The camp’s cabinet shop, once staffed by a CDCR-funded vocational instructor, is currently operated under the direction of CAL FIRE.
Incarcerated hand crew members also perform conservation and community service projects. CAL FIRE determines conservation projects.
Growlersburg Conservation Camp’s completed and ongoing projects include:
- Construction of shaded fuel breaks for wildland fire safety
- Construction of hiking and biking trails
- General maintenance and grounds care for community parks, schools, CAL FIRE and local fire district facilities
- Landscaping, cleaning, and grooming of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park Museum in Coloma
- Assist the University of California, Berkeley’s Blodgett Research Forest in implementing various vegetation management-based research projects
Programs and Services
Just as in every CDCR prison, every conservation camp offers rehabilitative and educational services, including substance abuse programs, religious programs, and GED and college courses. These programs, paired with their efforts during emergencies, build a strong work ethic and a feeling of self-worth. As a result, camp participants are prepared for successful integration back into their communities upon release.
For more stories featuring current and former Conservation (Fire) Camp Program participants, read Inside CDCR.
Visiting can be a critical part of an incarcerated person’s rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Scheduling Visits at Conservation (Fire) Camps page.