Los Piños Center

Image. Three Corpsmembers in fire equipment walk toward flames in the distance.

Los Piños Center Corpsmembers approach the flames of the Airport Fire in Corona, CA. Los Piños operates two CAL FIRE-partnered wildland fire crews.

The Los Piños Center is the newest, and most southern, CCC residential facility. Located near the Orange and Riverside County line in the Cleveland National Forest, the center is currently home to as many as 65 Corpsmembers.

The center’s buildings were once a Job Corps Conservation Camp and is on U.S. Forest Service property. Corpsmembers work to reduce the risk of wildfire by reducing overgrown and dead vegetation. Crews also help rehabilitate areas damaged by wildfire. Two fire crews work year-round in partnership with CAL FIRE.

The center is nestled high in the Santa Ana Mountains of Orange County, at more than 3,000 feet in elevation. While rare, snow can fall at the center. Corpsmembers can experience a variety of indoor and outdoor recreational activities during off time.

Los Piños is a short drive from Lake Elsinore along Ortega Highway, State Route 74. The center is located near trails, campgrounds and a U.S. Forest Service Hotshot Camp.

39251 Ortega Highway
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
951-609-0302

Los Piños Center

Los Piños Center Video Tour

Life at the Los Piños Center

Los Piños Center wildland firefighting Corpsmembers train how to build fire lines.

Los Piños Center wildland firefighting Corpsmembers train how to build fire lines by using hand tools to dig down to bare minimum soil. 

Corpsmembers live in dormitories on center grounds. Each dorm has a flat screen television and couch. The center’s recreation room includes a professional billiards table, big screen television, air hockey, and foosball table. Laundry machines are on site for Corpsmembers to use, but Corpsmembers must provide their own detergent. The center also has a full-sized indoor basketball court, two outdoor basketball courts, a baseball field, a soccer field, and numerous trails for hiking and walking.

The 43-acre facility is often visited by deer and other mountain wildlife. The remnants of early settlers to the region can also be found on the campus, including markers for an abandoned gold mine, and mortars carved into rock used to grind ingredients into a fine paste or powder.

Volunteering and engaging with local communities are a hallmark of all CCC centers. As the Lake Elsinore and Santa Ana Mountain communities interact with Los Piños crews more, volunteer opportunities will arise.

Projects

Los Piños Corpsmembers build a burn pile for CAL FIRE.

Los Piños Corpsmembers build a burn pile for CAL FIRE. The burn pile is composed of felled tree limbs as Corpsmembers and our sponsors work to make the area safe for wildfire.

Los Piños Center Corpsmembers work on a wide variety of projects but primarily focus on reducing the risk for wildfire in the surrounding areas. Crews remove and reduce overgrown and dead vegetation, as well as thin trees in local forests. Center projects take place primarily near Idyllwild, Temescal, and Lake Elsinore. The center partners with the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE, and local municipalities on project work.

The Los Piños Center also partners with CAL FIRE to provide two year-round wildland firefighting hand crews. Corpsmembers receive hands-on training and experience, earn fire certifications and work with CAL FIRE captains on hand crews to stop and prevent wildland fires in the Riverside area and throughout California.

A crew of Culinary Program Corpsmembers cook and prepare meals in the modern kitchen. Corpsmembers learn food preparation, tool usage, sanitation and safety, food storage, food preparation, and cooking skills. The hands-on training includes earning ServSafe food handler certification.

Education and Training

Corpsmember using his knife skills in the Los Piños Kitchen.

Corpsmember Alejandro Ibarra uses the knife skills he was taught in the culinary program to prepare dinner in the Los Piños Center kitchen.

All Corpsmembers at the Los Piños Center complete Corpsmember Orientation, Motivation, Education, and Training (COMET) and core training courses. Other specialized trainings and certification opportunities include:

  • First Aid & CPR
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Certificate
  • Chain Saw Training
  • Chipper Safety & Training
  • Flora and Fauna Identification
  • Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) 40-Hour Training
  • Leave No Trace
  • Power Tools Safety and Operation
  • ServSafe Food Handler Certification
  • CAL FIRE Wildland Firefighter Training

The Los Piños Center offers Corpsmembers the opportunity to earn their high school diploma through a CCC-partnered charter school. Individuals who already have their high school diploma also participate in CCC’s Corpsmember Development Programs. These include resume building, job searching, and interview training and typically require three hours of educational activities per week.