CAL FIRE Inmate Firefighter Dies in Training

An inmate firefighter assigned to Cuesta Fire Camp, located at the California Men’s Colony, died while taking part in a County/Cal Fire training program at Camp San Luis Obispo.

Cal Fire Capt. Jane Schmitz said the inmate collapsed while hiking on the military base shortly after 3:30 Wednesday afternoon.

According to Schmitz, the inmate was transported to a local hospital, were he was pronounced dead at 4:42p.m.

The California Department of Corrections is reviewing the incident.

Update from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR): The CDCR inmate firefighter assigned to Cuesta Fire Camp at the California Men’s Colony died of presumed natural causes Wednesday afternoon during a training exercise with CAL FIRE. The inmate, Crisanto Leo Lionell, 54, was participating in a training exercise at the California National Guard’s Camp San Luis when he lost consciousness. Lionell was received by CDCR on February 10, 2010, to serve an 11-year sentence for transportation and possession for sale of controlled substances in Tulare County. CDCR and CAL FIRE will conduct a review of the incident. For more information about the CDCR, visit


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