What to Know
- The Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District adopted a resolution on April 10 to apply for dissolution.
- The Registrar of Voters validated protests from 26% of the registered voters in the district's area.
- In December, the Local Agency Formation Commission asked the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to call an election.
Julian residents will have a chance to vote to stop the dissolution of their all-volunteer fire department in a special election called for March 19, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.
Residents in the unincorporated Julian and the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park regions lost their volunteer fire department when the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) was dissolved earlier this year due to financial struggles and aging facilities.
The plan was to transfer all fire protection and emergency medical services to the San Diego County Fire Authority.
However, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters said 26 percent of the 2,410 registered voters in the district sent in written protests to the proposed transfer.
Some community members told NBC 7 they feel they will be overlooked by a fire authority that is hundreds of miles away and that their volunteer fire department knows their community's needs better than an outside department.
Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham said the ability of anyone to continue an all-volunteer fire department with minimal funding is questionable.
“The fact that the county is bringing $1.6 million to provide services in Julian is a sign of what it costs to run a modern fire department,” Mecham said.
The special election will be by mail-in ballots and will be held on March 19, 2019.