Puerta La Cruz Conservation Camp #14

Puerta La Cruz Conservation Camp #14 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 Diego, Imperial and Riverside Counties, but has been assigned to numerous off-reservation assignments throughout the state. In addition to fire suppression, incarcerated hand crews provide a work force for conservation projects and community service.


Contact Information


32363 Highway 79, Warner Springs, CA 92086


(760) 782-3547

CDCR Camp Staff

  • Lt. J. Rodriguez, Camp Commander
  • Sgt. J. West, Assistant Camp Commander

About Puerta La Cruz Conservation Camp #14

Puerta La Cruz Conservation Camp #14 (PLC) began operations in 1957 with male inmates, CDCR staff, and CAL FIRE employees. The camp was converted in May of 1986 to an all-female inmate camp. The camp remained under administrative supervision of the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) until October 2005, when the California Institution for Women (CIW) took over the operation of Puerta La Cruz, Rainbow, and the Malibu Conservation Camps.

Puerta La Cruz camp participants make rain sticks and design plaques, clocks and wooden signs in hobby craft.

When not fighting fires, incarcerated firefighters perform conservation and community service projects. Conservation projects are determined by CAL FIRE.

PLC Conservation Camp crews, supervised by CAL FIRE staff, provide extensive conservation and project work in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Palomar County Park, Cal Trans, City of San Diego, City of Poway, La Jolla Indian Reservation, Naval Training base SERE, San Diego University, United States Forest Service, Warner Springs School District, and San Diego Wild Animal Park. These are just a few of the on-going projects that PLC is involved with, as well as fire defense year around and sand bagging at local fire stations in the San Diego County during the wet season to help prevent flood damage.

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.

During their leisure time, inmates may participate in hobby craft, softball, basketball, horseshoes, reading or other activities. Spiritual and self-help services such as Catholic Services, Calvary Chapel, Jewish Services, West Angeles Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are provided by community volunteers. Puerta La Cruz also facilitates GED preparation, college courses facilitated by Palo Verde College, and pre-release classes. Inmates quickly learn that life at a conservation camp is more desirable than serving time at a prison. Their work activities and efforts during emergencies build a strong work ethic, and a feeling of self-worth. These activities prepare the inmates for a successful integration back into their communities upon release.

Visiting can be a critical part of an incarcerated person’s rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Scheduling Visits at Conservation (Fire) Camps page.