Emergency fire and medical protection, SDG&E planned outages top list of concerns
By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor
Miriam Raftery, Editor, contributed to this report
View video of townhall: https://tinyurl.com/JacobsJulianTownHall
Photo, left, by Paul Kruze: Supervisor Dianne Jacob and SDG&E Vice President Eugene "Mitch" Mitchell fielded audience questions.
November 7, 2019 (Julian) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob ventured into a potential firestorm when she held a scheduled town hall forum at the Julian Town Hall on October 25th in downtown Julian. Jacob’s town hall coincided with the anniversary week for the infamous 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 Witch Creek firestorms which devastated the eastern San Diego backcountry. Up to then, both were the two worst wildfires in California history.
But the irony didn’t stop there. Moments before the town hall was set to begin, word reached the venue that a brush fire erupted near Witch Creek between Ramona and Julian. This prompted County Fire Authority/Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham to bolt out of the town hall where he was slated to speak in order to respond to the fast-moving fire.
“We are all on edge,” acknowledged Jacob, who chairs the county’s Unified Fire Council and outlined major investments made by the county to improve fire safety. “But we are better prepared than ever before.”
That contention, however, was disputed by the president of the former Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFD)'s board of directors, as multiple fire engines and an ambulance roared past the town hall en route to the Sawday Fire in Ramona.