Parlin Fork Conservation Camp #6


Camp Details

Contact Info

  • 23000 Hwy. 20, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
  • Phone: (707) 964-3766 (CDCR)
  • Phone: (707) 964-3765 (CAL FIRE)

CDCR Camp Staff

  • Lt. C. Vandyke Camp Commander
  • Sgt. T. Thomison, Assistant Camp Commander

2021 Camp Statistics

  • CDCR Staff: 9
  • Total number of inmates: 43
  • Total inmate capacity: 100

Camp Mission Statement

The primary mission of Parlin Fork Conservation Camp is a collaborative partnership between CDCR and CAL FIRE that focuses on receiving and safely housing minimum-custody inmates who are trained to provide CAL FIRE with five fire suppression hand crews. The camp’s incarcerated fire crews make up a large percentage of California’s wildland firefighting work force. Community work projects associated with conservation camps support and save tens of thousands of dollars for municipal, county, State, and federal government agencies, including schools, parks, cemeteries, and public recreation areas.

Camp Products

Kids clubhouse and officer and inmate standing next to it.
  • Hand-crafted kids clubhouse
    constructed at Parlin Fork Camp
    and donated to the 2013 Mendocino Coast
  • Botanical Gardens fundraiser auction
  • Parlin Fork product is low-cost lumber and redwood picnic tables that are sold to state and local government agencies. Parlin Fork’s signature redwood picnic tables can be found at parks and rest stops throughout California.

Community Service Projects

Parlin Fork Camp provides thousands of man hours for community services projects. Parlin Fork crews are out in the community daily and work to keep roadways open, clear brush, and maintain the forests and parks so they can be enjoyed by all.

Local government agencies such as road departments, county and municipal departments, the fair districts, state and county parks, volunteer fire districts, and schools rely on inmates housed at Parlin Fork to accomplish work projects. These projects include, but are not limited to; brush clearing, painting, construction, and general clean-up.

Parlin Fork crews also provide community service projects to local non-profit organizations such as little league, cemetery districts, and the World Famous Salmon BBQ that benefits local salmon habitat restoration.

Parlin Fork Camp also helps to keep the Lake Mendocino Recreation Area and local State Parks as sources of community pride, tourism, and most importantly, available to be enjoyed by the public.

Parlin Fork Camp inmates routinely donate hand-crafted wood and art products to local charitable causes. These projects generate thousands of dollars for such causes as Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg High School football, Fort Bragg Little League, and the Victims of Crime Foundation.

Camp History

Established on August 8, 1949, Parlin Fork Conservation Camp is the oldest fire camp in Northern California and the second oldest in the State. The camp is within the boundaries of the Jackson Demonstration Forest, approximately 11 miles east of Fort Bragg. The camp is surrounded by ancient redwood forests.

Parlin Fork Camp was first operated by San Quentin State Prison (SQ) and it’s placement in Mendocino County was to provide fire suppression and work crews to protect and maintain the Jackson Demonstration Forest. In the early 1960s, the California Correctional Center (CCC) assumed operation of the camp. For a short period during the late 1960s, the camp was operated as a federal detention facility. CDCR reassumed operation of the camp in 1972 when the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) took over operational responsibility for all of the conservation camps. In 1982, the conservation camps were split geographically by northern and southern regions. CCC administers the northern camps and SCC administers the southern camps, meaning Parlin Fork Camp is administered by CCC.

Parlin Fork is a cooperative effort between CDCR and CAL FIRE. CDCR is responsible for the supervision, care, and discipline of the assigned inmates. CAL FIRE maintains the camp facilities, supervises the work of incarcerated fire crews, and is responsible for supervision of incarcerated crews assigned to community service projects.

Parlin Fork has a designed capacity for 100 minimum custody inmates. Aside from serving on incarcerated fire crews, the remaining inmates serve as cooks, porters, landscapers, laundry workers, clerks, maintenance workers, mechanics and support activity workers. In order to be placed at camp, inmates undergo a rigorous classification and training processes. Inmates live in open dormitories with CDCR peace officers providing supervision.

Inmate Programs

Depending on skill level, conservation camp incarcerated firefighters earn between $2.90 and $5.12 per day, paid by CDCR. When dispatched to an emergency, fire crews receive $1 per hour from CAL FIRE from the time they leave their conservation camp until the time they return from the emergency. Most incarcerated firefighters receive 2-for-1 credits – meaning they receive two additional days off their sentence for every one day they serve as a firefighter. Inmates who have violent conviction offenses (falling under Penal Code 667.5(c)) receive day-for-day credits – or one day off their sentence for every one day they serve as a firefighter.

Parlin Fork Camp has an onsite canteen that offers food, personal, and hygiene items for purchase. Inmates are also allowed to receive personal packages from approved vendors.

Inmates at Parlin Fork Camp enjoy recreational activities such as hobby craft working, art, music, books, and television. Inmates also enjoy physical activities such as volleyball, softball, basketball, handball, horse shoes, billiards, ping pong, and an extensive exercise gym.

GED and college courses are available through CDCR Education Department, Lassen Community College, and Sacramento State University. Inmates have the opportunity to become certified water and sewer plant operators through training provided at the camp.

Self-help and religious services are provided by local volunteers and held on a weekly basis. Regular and family visits are available each weekend and designated holidays.

Parlin Fork is an excellent environment for inmates to learn valuable life skills, including dedication, commitment, and teamwork.