Parlin Fork Conservation Camp #6

Parlin Fork Conservation Camp #6 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 hand crews to support local, state, and federal agencies in their response to emergencies such as fires and floods. Camp participants also complete community service and conservation projects year-round.

parlin fork conservation camp logo

Contact Information


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

Parlin Fork Conservation Camp #6

Established on Aug. 8, 1949, Parlin Fork Conservation Camp #6 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. Ancient redwood forests surround the camp.

Parlin Fork Camp was first operated by San Quentin State Prison (SQ). Its 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 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 administered the northern camps and SCC administered the southern camps. In 2022, (SCC) again took over operational responsibility for all of the conservation camps.

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 supervises incarcerated crews assigned to community service projects.

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

Camp Projects

Hand crews also perform conservation and community service projects. CAL FIRE determines conservation 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.

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 incarcerated people housed at Parlin Fork to accomplish work projects. These projects include 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.

Camp participants also maintain 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 participants 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.

Ongoing and completed camp products made by Parlin Fork Camp crews include:

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.

Programs and Services

Just as in every CDCR prison, every conservation camp offers rehabilitative and educational services. Parlin Fork Camp has an onsite canteen that offers food, personal, and hygiene items for purchase. Camp volunteers also receive personal packages from approved vendors.

Camp participants enjoy recreational activities such as hobby craft working, art, music, books, and television. Participants 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. Camp participants 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 incarcerated people to learn valuable life skills, including dedication, commitment, and teamwork.

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.