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State Budget Cuts Could Nullify Local Gains in Firefighting Resources

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Aired 4/19/09

The San Diego region will get one new fire engine from Governor Schwarzenegger's s Office of Emergency Services . But at the same time, cuts called for in the governor's state budget could reduce firefighting resources in San Diego County. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

In 2004, the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission called for 150 new fire trucks to be positioned around the state next month, northern San Diego County is scheduled to get one of them.

But this year’s tight state budget could wipe out any gains.

Randy Scales of Cal Fire in San Diego describes proposals for an across the board 10 percent cut.

Scales : They have put out the list of what the proposals are, there is one fire station in San Diego county, the San Marcos station, that’s proposed for a cut as well as the closure of one of our camps in the county, so it potentially could affect us.

CalFire has 18 fire stations around the county plus conservation camps in the backcountry where inmates help with brush clearance and firefighting.

Officials say the cuts could be avoided if a plan is passed to add about $10 a year to everyone’s homeowner’s insurance policy, specifically for firefighting resources.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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