JULIAN FACES BURNING ISSUE: POTENTIAL LOSS OF VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
By Miriam Raftery
March 4, 2013 (Julian) – Julian’s all-volunteer fire department, faced with a budget crunch, is weighing a proposal to turn over firefighting responsibilities to the County Fire Authority. But some residents are voicing fears that they could wind up burned.
Dozens of firefighters and property owners packed into the Julian Town Hall Thursday night. Many expressed concerns that out-of-town firefighters would not be familiar with rural areas and may not find homes in a firestorm. Relying on firefighters far away would also mean longer response times to fight fires in this historic mountain community.
Palomar Mountain Fire District Chief George Lucia came to warn the District not to join the County Fire Authority, as his District has already done. “If I could turn back time, I would never put pen to paper with the County,” Chief Lucas said, NBC news reported. “I have regretted it every day since then.”