An important meeting is set for Wednesday night, August 14 on the future of fire service in the Rural Fire Protection district, which serves many communities in East County.
The County Fire Authority is threatening to withdraw all fire service funding if the San Diego Rural Fire Protection District chooses to remain an independent fire district and not merge with the County Fire Authority.
If the district remains independent, funding will revert back to 207 levels—with no stipend pay for firefighters for rural stations, according to a letter sent by the district’s fire board to residents. SD Rural Fire_important-letter .
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14 at Old Ironside Park, located at 326 Harbison Canyon Road in El Cajon 92019.
Rural Fire is the latest in a string of fire districts in unincorporated areas of the County to face takeover by the County Fire Authority. Some, such as Julian-Cuyamaca Fire District, have opted against the consolidation and found outside funding to fill the gap, while others have opted for consolidation with mixed results. Ostensibly intended to improve fire safety in the wake of the Cedar Fire, the consolidation has had unintended consequences including dark days with unmanned stations in some communities.
The Rural Fire Protection District’s Board has issued a statement of the options before residents of the district concerning the district’s ongoing operations. That Board statement is located here: http://www.sdruralfire.org/cms-assets/documents/109758-92448.important-letter.pdf
Residents can find the County’s arguments by reading the San Diego County Fire Authority Master Plan at http://bosagenda.sdcounty.ca.gov/agendadocs/doc?id=09010e9680174b28.