The San Diego County Board of Supervisors wants to secure access to a private road in the rural town of Crest so residents can have a third evacuation route in the event of an emergency.
Crest evacuees used the Suncrest Truck Trail to escape the 2003 Cedar Fire which burned more than 300 homes in the East County town. However, the easements to maintain the route as an emergency corridor out of Crest were never secured. There are roughly 11 private entities that own parts of the truck trail.
“People could change their mind and not allow access,” warned Crest Fire Safe Council member Kandhy Franklin.
The County Board of Supervisors could take steps to begin the process of securing those easements that would preserve the route.
“What we want to do now is memorialize it, get the legal easement rights from those property owners so that it’s official,” said Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, who also represents a large part of the East County.
Franklin said it would go a long way towards giving Crest residents peace of mind.
“All of us were panicked beyond belief about getting stuck, not getting out,” she said.
If the easements are secured, Chairwoman Jacob said the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department or Cal Fire would be the only ones to give permission to open Suncrest Truck Trail as an emergency route in the event the other routes out of Crest are blocked.
The Board of Supervisors will discuss a plan to secure the easements next Tuesday.