The Butte Fire Center started in 1949 as the Magalia Camp under the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) and California Department of Corrections (CDC). CALFIRE and CDC continued to jointly manage the camp until approximately 1973 when CDC withdrew inmates from the camp. In about 1974, the camp again opened as the Butte Ecology Center this time jointly operated by CALFIRE and the California Ecology Corps. The Ecology Corps continued to exist until 1978 when the camp became Butte Fire Center under the joint direction of CALFIRE and the California Conservation Corps (CCC), this remained so until 2003 when the CCC withdrew.
From 2003 until 2016 the Butte Fire Center (owned by CALFIRE) was utilized as a northern region training facility for firefighters throughout California. In 2016 once again CALFIRE and CCC rejoined operations as a fire crew facility.
CCC crew members go through a rigorous two week CALFIRE Fire Crew training program before being assigned to a fire crew. As a CALFIRE/CCC Type 1 fire crew they are able to respond to wildland fires, search and rescue and flood fighting incidents. While not fighting fires the fire crews work on fire hazard reduction and other community projects. The Butte Fire Center facilitates approximately 50 CCC Corps Members and 17 CCC Staff.
CALFIRE staff train and supervise the fire crews, provide forest practice operations and operate a full auto repair shop, numbering approximately 16 personnel.