Prado Conservation Camp #28

Prado Conservation Camp #28 is jointly operated by CDCR and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The primary mission of the camp is to provide incarcerated fire crews for fire suppression principally in San Bernardino County, however crews respond to emergencies throughout the state. Camp participants also complete community service and conservation projects year-round.

Prado Conservation Camp #28 logo

Contact Information


14467 Central Ave., Chino, CA 91710


  • CDCR Phone: (909) 597-3917
  • CAL FIRE Phone: (909) 597-2911

CDCR Camp Staff

  • Lt. Espinoza, Camp Commander
  • Sgt. S. Gallow, Assistant Camp Commander

About Prado Conservation Camp #28

Prado Conservation Camp opened on Oct. 1, 1963, and is located in San Bernardino County just two miles south of Chino on Central Avenue. The camp is centrally located for immediate response to five different counties, but crews may respond anywhere in the state. Camp hand crews also complete conservation projects including fire defense improvements, general weed abatement, and public recreation area beautification on tax-supported government properties in the local area.

Prado is under the CDCR Administrative Supervision of Sierra Conservation Center (SCC). CAL FIRE management direction is provided by the San Bernardino Unit.

Prado Conservation Camp has a designed capacity for 80 male minimum custody incarcerated people. The camp has four incarcerated fire crews. Participation in the camps program is voluntary. No one is involuntarily assigned to a conservation camp.

Prado Conservation Camp also serves as a mobilization center for fires in Southern California. During this operation the Camp may hold as many as 1,800 incarcerated hand crews and civilian firefighters from all over California, waiting to respond to fires as they are dispatched by CAL FIRE.

Camp Projects

When not fighting fires, camp participants work on conservation projects and other community services in the local area.

Prado Camp’s conservation projects include:

  • Corona Ponds: Removal of non-native species from ponds. Removal of Arundo and other non-native species in the surrounding area.
  • Southern Region Headquarters: General maintenance and fire hazard reduction.
  • San Bernardino Unit Headquarters: General fire hazard reduction and maintenance of Ranger Unit Facility and Stations.
  • Yucaipa: General maintenance around fire station and small construction, weed abatement, perimeter clean-up, and fuels reduction.
  • California Institute Men’s Gun Range: Ground maintenance, trash pick-up and fire threat reduction.
  • Chino Hills: General maintenance around park and small construction, weed abatement, perimeter clean-up, fuels reduction, and trail maintenance.
  • San Bernardino Floods: Clearing and chipping of dead brush in flood channels throughout San Bernardino County.
  • Corona Parks and Recreation: Clearing and chipping of dead brush, also vegetation removal and transport to trash bins. This project will reduce the dead fuel loading in areas with close proximity to residences with hopes to minimize the fire potential in the area.
  • Corona Airport: Cut and remove trees and saplings in the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ), south ditch area, south & north flood walls. Also clear limbs and bushes.
  • Chino Hills State Park: Fuel break maintenance, vegetation management, trail maintenance and repair, tree felling/trimming & road/drainage repair at creek crossings and drainage aprons; using various methods such as the use of hand tools, chainsaws and other mechanized equipment.
  • Devore: General maintenance around fire station during winter months. Small construction, weed abatement, perimeter clean-up, and fuels reduction.
  • ANF FUELS: Hazard fuels reduction at Tanbark Research Facility, maintenance of fuel break, and hazard reduction at several camp grounds.

Prado Conservation Camp has a Mobile Kitchen Unit (MKU). This MKU may be dispatched to feed fire line meals to everyone assigned to an emergency incident anywhere in the state.

Programs and Services

Just as in every CDCR Prison, every Conservation Camp offers rehabilitative and educational services. Their efforts during emergencies build a strong work ethic and a feeling of self-worth. Collectively, these activities prepare the inmates for a successful integration back into their communities upon release.

Camp volunteers perform various in-camp projects that include maintenance, welding, equipment repair, and carpentry. While serving their prison term, camp participants learn valuable experience and work skills. The training they receive at Prado Conservation Camp is not only that of hard work and strong work ethic, but teamwork, self-esteem, and the recognition of a job well done. In addition, eligible Prado campers participate in a GED/College program in conjunction with the California Institution for Men (CIM) in Chino. The experiences on the fire line and on their work projects are life skills that will continue to follow them once they are released and return back to their communities.

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.