Compiled by Eric Owens, CDCR staff photographer

The history of CDCR’s fire camps scattered throughout the state dates back to the opening of Camp Rainbow in Fallbrook in 1946. But the history of state prison inmates being housed in camp settings and working outside dates back years, even decades earlier.

CDCR camps provide trained firefighters at a big savings to California taxpayers. When they aren’t fighting fires, inmates are often doing conservation work on state lands.

Under Realignment, some counties are sending inmates to CDCR camps.