WHO WE ARE
The Fire Suppression Camp Section management is shared between two Battalion Chiefs dividing their duties between paid/probation camps, and inmate camps: Camps I – Battalion Chief Jim Crawford and Camps II – Battalion Chief Vince Pena.
Camps I is responsible for the operations at the five camps where we operate in partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDC). These camps include Camp 11 in Acton; Camp 13 in Malibu; Camp 14 in San Francisquito; Camp 16 at Mt Gleason; and Camp 19 in San Gabriel Canyon. The five CDC camps provide 21 fire crews for the County of Los Angeles and State of California. The CDC supplies the workforce for each camp and the Fire Department supplies the fire crew supervisor. Both agencies benefit from this arrangement; the Department and County of Los Angeles gain an eager and willing workforce to complete a myriad of necessary projects and CDC is able to provide a structured learning environment with an emphasis on teamwork and a strong work ethic for personnel under their care. Each CDC Camp has between 8 and 12 fire crew supervisors and can respond between four and six fire crews depending on the established camp population.
Camps I is also responsible for coordinating the duties of the Department’s Prescribed Fire Manager.
Camps II is responsible for the operations at the Department's four paid camps, a camp operated in partnership with the County of Los Angeles Probation Department, and the Department’s Heavy Equipment Unit. The four paid camps are located in La Canada Flintridge, Camp 2; Malibu, Camp 8; Mt Pinetos, Camp 9; and Castaic, Camp 12. The Probation Camp is located in Big Tujunga Canyon and is designated Camp 15.
The paid Fire Suppression Aid camps (2, 8, 9 and 12) have three fly-certified Fire Crew Supervisors and one paid Fire Suppression Crew of between 10 and 15 Fire Suppression Aids. These camp’s primary mission is an airborne attack on wildland fires. When a helicopter is available and assigned to the camp, the crew and Fire Crew Supervisor are transported to the incident via helicopter and inserted in a strategic location, usually at the head of the fire. If helicopter transport is unavailable, the crew and Fire Crew Supervisor utilize a crew carrier for transport to the incident.
Camp 15 is a partnership between the County of Los Angeles Fire Department and the County of Los Angeles Probation Department and similar to the CDC partnership. Again, the emphasis is on providing a structured learning environment with teamwork and a strong work ethic. The camp has eight fire crew supervisors and can respond five fire crews. The crews maintain a high state of readiness and physical fitness to perform their primary mission; the suppression of wildland fires anywhere in the state of California. And although the primary mission of the camps is wildland fire oriented, the crews are also utilized for other emergency incidents; storm-related incidents involving the filling sandbags for protection around structures, and providing manpower at search and rescue incidents. Because of the high quality of work performed by the crews, they are routinely requested by Federal, State, and other local agencies to assist with other types of emergency incidents.
The Heavy Equipment Unit and Prescribed Fire & Fuels Manager are also components of the Camps Section. The Heavy Equipment Unit is located at the Department’s Pacoima Facility and is the Department’s resource for bulldozers, motor graders, backhoes, and heavy transport vehicles. During Fire Season the staffed dozer teams are strategically located throughout the County.
A Fire Captain (superintendent) supervises each fire suppression camp. The superintendent in turn supervises 9 to 12 fire crew supervisors (foremen) at the CDC and Probation Camps, and three foremen in the paid camps. At the CDC and Probation Camps each foreman supervises a crew of 14 personnel. The paid camp foremen supervise between 9 and 14 crew fire fighters.