Volunteer Fire Departments Rule

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of volunteer firefighters have more than 5 years of service. There are an estimated 29,727 fire departments in the U.S. Of these, 2,651 departments were all career, 1,893 were mostly career, 5,421 were mostly volunteer and 19,762 were all volunteer.


Come join us as a Volunteer or as a Reserve.



San Diego’s back country volunteer fire companies were first organized after the huge 1970 Laguna Fire that burned 175,425 acres and 382 homes and killed eight people. The Julian Volunteer Fire Company and Lake Cuyamaca Fire Company were two of those formed. In 1983,


BLM Initiates Stage III Fire Restrictions in the California Desert District

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated Stage III Fire Restrictions for BLM-managed public lands within Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, and San Diego counties. The restrictions will remain in effect until further notice. 

“Despite heavy winter rains, restrictions are needed due to current hot and dry weather conditions and an abundance of dry grass that could be easily ignited,” said California Desert District Manager Beth Ransel.  “These types of hot and dry weather conditions can lead to wildfires that would threaten public land visitors, adjacent private lands and communities, and natural resources.”

Stage III Restrictions state that setting, building, maintaining, attending, or using open fire of any kind is prohibited in designated areas. Controlled flame devices, such as portable stoves fueled by petroleum or liquid petroleum gas products, are allowed only by permit. Smoking is only permitted within enclosed vehicles or camp trailers. The possession or use of all fireworks, including “safe and sane”, as well as the use of floating sky lanterns, fire balloons or acetylene balloons is prohibited. The 2017 Fire Restriction Order and a fire restriction map is available at:


In addition, the BLM has initiated restrictions for recreational target shooting within western Riverside and San Diego counties for public lands managed by the El Centro and Palm Springs-South Coast Field Offices beginning May 26, 2017, and continuing until the end of fire season is declared. This order closes approximately four-million acres of public lands to recreational target shooting. Violation of this order is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both. A map of the recreational shooting closure can be viewed at the website above. The BLM greatly appreciates the public’s cooperation in helping to minimize the number of human-caused wildfires. The public is reminded to exercise extreme caution when using fire and to follow these precautions:

1)  Make sure you have a five-foot circle cleared around your campfire.

2)  Be sure to have a shovel and plenty of water on hand and put the fire DEAD OUT before leaving. 

3)  Make sure cigarettes or cigars are put out when finished and disposed of properly. 

4)  Park motor vehicles away from locations where exhaust could cause grass or other combustibles to ignite.

The public can find additional information about wildfire on Cal Fire’s website at http://www.readyforwildfire.org/One-Less-Spark-Campaign/. For more information about wildfire prevention from the BLM, please contact: California Desert District Office (951) 697-5200, Barstow Field Office (760) 252-6000, El Centro Field Office (760) 337-4400, Needles Field Office (760) 326-7000, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office (760) 833-7100 or Ridgecrest Field Office (760) 384-5400.



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The Julian Fire Plugs and Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District are planning an Open House for the new fire station (under construction) on Saturday, April 22.  Our official program will begin at 11:00 am to acknowledge major donors, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Starting at Noon, the volunteer firefighters will grill hamburgers and hot dogs and a local band will play music.  All is free and we hope residents will join us to celebrate and tour the new fire station.

Everyone has received a letter from JCFPD requesting donations to help complete and furnish the new station. If you donate $250 or more, you will receive an engraved leaf on our new Donor Tree. This process takes a couple of weeks, so if you want to see your leaf on the tree at the open house, do not delay in sending in your donation form.

Also, another way to donate (especially if you like shopping) is to purchase a house warming gift from the Target Store Gift Registry. Simply go to:   www.jcfpd.com and click on the Target icon. You will see all of the items that are needed, but you can also choose gifts you think would make the new station comfortable for the volunteer firefighters and paramedics.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in donations. Your generosity is appreciated.

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Jan Payne, Cathy Ozbun, Greg Hidley, Pat Landis, Brian Kramer, Sheana Fry, Barbara Nigro, Kathy Payne and Ron Ozbun

You have probably heard of us, but we wanted to give you more information about our organization. The Fire Plugs were incorporated as a non-profit 501c3 corporation in 2013 for the main purpose of fundraising for our volunteer fire department. At the time, Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) was unsure of its future due to finances. Our current Chief had retired and we were looking for a part-time Chief because that is what we could afford. We were fortunate in the hiring of Chief Rick Marinelli who took control of the finances. He negotiated additional funds from the County of San Diego to subsidize our ambulance service and secure the subsidy necessary for operations of the department.

The Fire Plugs began by holding several Arts & Crafts Fairs. These fairs served several purposes. They raised funds, created a venue for local artisans to showcase their wares, and gave tourists the opportunity to buy local hand-crafted items. The profits from these events were donated to JCFPD to purchase protection gear for our volunteer firefighters.

In 2015, we organized a mass mailing to property owners asking for donations. This project resulted in over $38,000 in donations, all of which went into the general reserves for the District.

During 2016-17, the Fire Plugs have undertaken several new projects to assist with the completion of our new fire station. We secured donations of office furniture and new beds and mattresses. We created a custom Donor Tree for installation in the new fire station under construction. The Donor Tree holds 240 leaves that can be engraved with the names of people who have donated $250 or more toward the completion of the new station. Another mass mailing went to every resident in the District, asking for donations and these funds will go toward the purchase of furniture, linens, pots, plates, utensils, etc. We also established a Gift Registry at Target for residents to purchase some of the items necessary to set up housekeeping and turn the station into comfortable living quarters. The Gift Registry can be accessed through the official website: JFCPD.com.

Finally, the Fire Plugs are assisting JCFPD in the planning of a Grand Open House. This event will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. We will have a program that will include music and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks, cooked and served by volunteer firefighters and Julian Fire Plugs. This event is free and all residents of Julian and Cuyamaca are invited to come, bring children and enjoy a celebration that has been a long time coming. Please join us and be prepared for a day of fun and entertainment.

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New Station, Donor Tree and Registry

We are asking for the community to support our efforts to make our new fire station even better by providing our volunteers and reserves with the equipment, amenities and tools they need to make the station as comfortable and well appointed as they deserve. These item will make staying away from family and  home just a bit more comfortable and will show that all the efforts and training they put in for our community are appreciated. 

Thank you in advance for everything you do to support our fire department.

Donor Info Form

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Checking in with Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District by Ann Reilly Cole

By Ann Reilly Cole – Julian Journal• Thu, May 19, 016
This may be Julian’s prettiest time of year, with rolling green hills and wildflowers in bloom from recent rains.

Backcountry residents — especially those who have lived through multiple wildfires and evacuations — know, however, that it is just a matter of time before the dry hot summer turns the landscape into a potential tinderbox. Local firefighting organizations are busy all year long, working to protect life and property and laying the groundwork that increases the odds that an emergency situation will not become a tragedy. Fire Chief Rick Marinelli of the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District reports on the progress of the new fire station, new equipment and resources, and what residents can do to protect themselves and their homes in an emergency. Plans have been drawn and a loan has been waiting at the bank, while the process to build the new JCFPD fire station slowly works its way from concept to completion. At the Julian Library, project architect Jeff Katz opened sealed bids from seven contractors seeking a shot at building the new firehouse. The station’s design had already been determined, and the competing bidders each prepared their proposals using the same criteria and with equal access to information regarding the project. The highest bid came in at $3,888,764, and the lowest was $2,036,873, with others at $2.5 to $2.2 million. Law requires that the contract be offered to the lowest qualified bidder. After announcing the bids, Katz then reviewed each bid to eliminate any if they did not meet qualifications before making his recommendation to the JCFPD Board on May 10. Since the lowest bid was also a qualified bid, it was the only bid presented to the board, which voted to award the contract to Southwest Construction Services of Lakeside. Owners Sam Smith and Dan Smith are well established in the region as fourth-generation residents of Lakeside and the third generation in the construction business. The long list of their projects includes government buildings, hospitals, and private and commercial construction. The next step is to draw up the contract, with work set to begin sometime in June. Meanwhile, an agreement among the San Diego County Fire Authority, the JCFPD and Cal Fire recently put an extra structure fire engine, staffed with a paramedic, at the Cal Fire station on Highway 78. This addition, at county expense, means an increase in around-the-clock availability of firefighting resources and advanced life support (ALS) services for residents and visitors to the backcountry. ALS services include administering medications and IV fluids, and emergency cardiac care. Six professional Cal Fire firefighters will staff the new engine, including at least one paramedic, two fire apparatus engineers, and three firefighter paramedics. Two or more will be on duty around the clock, with at least one qualified as a paramedic. In September, the department is set to receive a brand-new ambulance. The $200,000 vehicle has been ordered and is being built for the local station with lots of bells and whistles, including an automatic chain system so the vehicle can easily navigate the varying weather and road conditions typical to Julian. In addition to the new ambulance, the department has purchased a used ambulance from the Borrego Fire Protection District at a cost of $4,000. This vehicle, currently being refurbished with new tires and radios, will be a backup ambulance. The two ambulances currently in service will be returned to the county when they are replaced with the locally owned vehicles. The ambulance program at JCFPD, which is in its third year of a six-year contract with the county EMS for advanced life support, responds to some 500 to 600 calls per year. Where many folks see the beauty of the blooming wildflowers and green hills as they look out at Julian’s vistas, Marinelli knows that by summer’s end, the brown and brittle vegetation is an inevitable fire risk. According to Marinelli, now is the best time to get clearing work done, before the vegetation turns brown and sparks from operating machinery increase the risk of starting a wildfire, and before Cal Fire begins issuing non-compliance notices in June. “Don’t wait until it gets too hot to start weed whacking and create that defensible space,” he says. Another advantage of clearing early in the season is the chance to get free or low-cost assistance with chipping or creating the mandated 100 feet of defensible space. Fire safe councils offer this help on a first-come, first-served basis to those who apply. The websites below offer information about being ready for wildfires and other emergencies. • www.calfire.ca.gov • www.cuyamacawoodsfsc.org • www.harrisonparkassociation.org • www.ready.gov • www.readysandiego.org • www.wefsc.com In addition, www.firesafesdcounty.org provides education and information about fire prevention and safety, including details on a no-cost chipping program and defensible space assistance for low-income seniors and disabled residents. Those without computer or Internet access may visit the Julian Library at 1850 Highway 78, where computers are available at no charge. From an article in the Julian Journal

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