Ishi Conservation Camp #18

Ishi Conservation Camp is jointly operated by CDCR and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The camp’s primary mission is to provide incarcerated fire crews for fire suppression activities in the Tehama, Glenn, Shasta and Plumas County areas. In addition to fire suppression, incarcerated hand crews provide a work force for conservation and community services projects in the local area.

Ishi Conservation Camp Logo

Contact Information


30500 Plum Creek Road, Paynes Creek, CA 96075


(530) 597-2846

CDCR Camp Staff

  • Lt. M. Gregor, Camp Commander
  • Sgt. C. Hoagland, Assistant Camp Commander

Featured Story

Ishi Conservation Camp hosts the annual Spring Training Exercise which certifies hand crews from all over the state for the upcoming fire season.

Incarcerated firefighters wearing orange walking down a trail away from the camera

About Ishi Conservation Camp #18

Ishi Conservation Camp (#18) opened in April 1961. CDCR is responsible for the security, supervision, care, and discipline of the inmates. CAL FIRE maintains the camp, supervises work of the incarcerated fire crews and is responsible for the custody of inmates on their daily CAL FIRE work projects. CDCR staff may accompany the hand crews while assigned to emergencies to assist in the care and security of the inmates.

Hand crews also perform conservation and community service projects. Conservation projects are determined by CAL FIRE.

The following projects consisted of brushing roads and trails, fuel breaks, fence installation & removal, construction projects, trash and litter pickup, building maintenance and clean up, clearing ditches, flood prevention, tree removal, weed abatement, and snow removal:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Fish & Game
  • Cal Trans
  • Tehama County Resource Conservation District
  • Tehama County Fairgrounds
  • Red Bluff Schools
  • CAL FIRE Facilities
  • Tehama County Schools
  • United States Forest Service
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Red Bluff City Parks & Recreation
  • Adopt-A-Highway
  • State Parks
  • Butte County Snow Removal
  • Tehama County Public Works
  • Shasta County Schools

The designated in-camp project is CDF Boxed Meal Shop, which produces boxed ready to eat meals for firefighters and are distributed throughout the State.

Ready “2” Heat Meals are specifically designed for consumption by firefighting personnel. Ishi Camp is an approved product provider for Emergency Ready “2” Heat Meals and their sales are limited to state and local government agencies.

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. Their efforts during emergencies build a strong work ethic and a feeling of self-worth. Collectively, these activities prepare the camp participants for a successful integration back into their communities upon release.

Each year at Christmas time, Ishi Camp provides bicycles for foster children in Tehama County in cooperation with Tehama County Social Services.

For 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.