Firefighters, Rehabilitation

Camp Cuesta firefighter honors others through art

Camp Cuesta painting of fire.
Cecil Yahtin stands beside the painting he completed inside the dining hall at Camp Cuesta.

Cecil Yahtin, an incarcerated firefighter at California Men’s Colony’s Camp Cuesta, honors others through painting. A self-taught artist, he is one of many incarcerated firefighters defending life, homes and property against wildfires.

Beauty from ashes: Camp Cuesta firefighter turns to painting

The firefighter credits custody staff for helping him grow as an artist. They also encouraged him to honor brave firefighters through his artwork.

Whether he’s creating hand-drawn cards or painting wall-sized murals, Yahtin claims art helps him move forward and become a better man.

The once drab dining hall now honors staff and incarcerated firefighters who stand ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

Today, artwork and photos adorn the camp’s dining hall, honoring firefighters past and present.

By Lieutenant John Hill, California Men’s Colony

Firefighter paints to honor others

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