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Rural Districts in Danger of Losing Fire Departments

Three years ago, the small, hilltop community of Crest lost 300 homes in the Cedar Fire. Now, Crest is in danger of losing its fire department. Community activists talk about the effort to rebuild hom

Rural Districts in Danger of Losing Fire Departments

Tom Fudge : Three years ago, ten percent of San Diego County was reduced to ashes. The Cedar Fire, and two smaller blazes, flew across the county on the backs of Santa Ana winds. One of the communities, hardest hit by the Cedar Fire, was Crest. As its name suggests, Crest sits at the top of a ridge just east of El Cajon and just west of Harbison Canyon. It lost 300 homes in the fire.

Today, most of those homes have been rebuilt. But the threat of future fires could be even greater, because Crest is in danger of losing its fire department. Like many small local communities, Crest relies for fire service on a small, independent fire district. Today, the East County Fire Protection District, which serves Crest and Neighboring Bostonia, is $800 thousand in debt.

During this hour we mark the third anniversary of the Cedar fire by talking about Crest, its effort to rebuild and maintain fire protection. And we’ll find out whether San Diego County could succeed in creating a county-wide fire department.

Guests

  • Dawn Hubert , resident of Crest and community activist.
  • John Traylor , retired fire chief of Coronado and governmental consultant on fire protection to LAFCO, the Local Agency Commission.
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