News Release


DATE: December 6, 2005

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108


Board of Supervisors Votes to Provide $5 million to Agencies, Districts

The Board of Supervisors has voted to strengthen fire protection services in the county by providing $5 million annually to fire agencies and districts in underserved rural communities.

The Board voted 4-0 Tuesday to authorize contract negotiations with various fire districts and agencies to improve fire protection services in their areas. The contract will provide $5 million a year, for three years. It will allow the agencies to enhance maintenance of their facilities, conduct additional training, pay for dispatching and buy fire engines.

“For years, fire services in most of these areas have been severely lacking and by taking this step, the County of San Diego is moving aggressively to protect these communities from wildfires,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents the communities hardest hit by the 2003 Firestorms.

The areas that will be served are Mount Laguna, Palomar Mountain, Boulevard, Campo, San Pasqual, Elfin Forest, Sunshine Summit, Ranchita, Warner Springs, Ocotillo Wells, Intermountain, De Luz and Shelter Valley.
Agencies serving those areas will also receive radios to remain in touch with the County communications system.

In addition, the County will negotiate contracts with the Rural Fire Protection District and the Mootamai, Pauma and Yuima water districts to improve their fire protection. Also, the County will contract with the California Department of Forestry to provide year-round coverage in De Luz, Warner Springs, Witch Creek, Julian, Campo, White Star, Potrero, Dulzura and Rincon.

The County is also adding seven staff members to the Department of Planning and Land Use to help the fire agencies and districts provide the improved services. The department will review fire protection plans in the communities and provide additional training and enforcement of clearing and weed abatement ordinances.