From left are Fire Captain Chase Beckman, Lieutenant S. Turner, Mayor Margaret Fujioka, Battalion Chief Mike Martin and Division Chief Jeff Johnson.

From left are Fire Captain Chase Beckman, Correctional Lt. S. Turner, Mayor Margaret Fujioka, Battalion Chief Mike Martin and Division Chief Jeff Johnson.

By Lt. Aaron Yderraga, AA/Public Information Officer
California Correctional Center

California Correctional Center (CCC) and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) staff from Delta Conservation Camp (CC #8) were honored Jan. 19 by the Piedmont City Council for their extraordinary work.

CC #8 has eagerly accepted numerous projects throughout the city such as invasive vegetation removal and the creation of defensible perimeters (fire breaks) around residential areas to help prevent property damage due to wildfires.  For camp crew’s tireless work, Jan. 19 shall forever be known as “Delta Camp Day.”

The Contra Costa Times covered the crew in an article published on Sept. 29, 2015.

“It just makes you feel like you accomplished something and you’re helping people out,” inmate firefighter Joshua Coover told the newspaper. “The best feeling is when we get off the fire; all the signs you see say ‘thank you, firefighters.’ … They even refer to us as ‘angels in orange.'”

According to the CDCR website, “There are 43 conservation camps for adult offenders and one camp for juvenile offenders. Three of the adult offender camps house female fire fighters. Thirty-nine adult camps and the juvenile offender camp are jointly managed by CDCR and … CalFire. Five camps are jointly managed with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.”

The primary mission of CCC is to receive, house and train minimum-custody inmates for placement into one of the institution’s 18 Northern California conservation camps.

Working collaboratively with CalFire, these camps are strategically located throughout the northern state to provide fire suppression hand crews, as well as an organized labor force for public conservation projects and other emergency response needs of the State.

Services provided through the conservation camp program historically amount to many millions of dollars in value to the public. Work projects associated with conservation camps support municipal, county, state, and federal government agencies, including schools, parks, cemeteries and public recreation areas.