SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Those in support of the last volunteer fire department in San Diego County suffered a setback Monday.
The Local Agency Formation Commission held a hearing on whether the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District should be dissolved with the agency voting to disband it.
LAFCO, which has countywide jurisdiction but is independent of county government, is responsible for overseeing changes to local governmental boundaries, including the formation, consolidation, merger and dissolution of special districts.
The county fire authority will now take control which has been the case with other volunteer fire departments in rural areas.
It was clear at the meeting Monday that this is a topic people feel passionate about; the room packed with people speaking out both for and against disbanding.
Those in favor of disbanding said the county could provide better resources considering they would have a crew stationed in Julian 24/7.
Over the past ten years, all other volunteer departments in the backcountry have been absorbed by the county.
But, those who oppose say the county won't be able to navigate their area as well as the current volunteers do.
Some also think the county won't care as much because they're not invested in the community. Those in opposition of Monday's decision have a few weeks to collect enough signatures to put the plan before a public vote.