Volunteer firefighters refuse to let county officials take over Julian fire station

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JULIAN, Calif. – Volunteer firefighters remained barricaded inside the Julian fire station Tuesday, a day after the county took control the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District.

The county dissolved the Julian Volunteer Fire Department Monday after the Local Agency Formation Commission voted 8-0 to implement the results of a March special election in the mountain community, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. A majority of voters  in the district voted to have the County Fire Authority take over from the volunteers.

Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District

But when a county transition team went to take over the volunteer fire station later that day, they found about eight volunteer firefighters were inside. The volunteers locked the doors and refused to let the transition team inside.

The standoff continued Tuesday, with county officials waiting for a court order to force the volunteers out and allow the transition team to check out the condition of the fire station and the firefighting equipment inside.

Meanwhile, Cal Fire firefighters and paramedics will respond to emergencies in the fire district under a contract with the county, the Union-Tribune reported.

A lawyer for the volunteers said that a recent court decision nullifies the March vote. He told the Union-Tribune that he planned to file a lawsuit on behalf of the volunteers to get a temporary restraining order preventing the county from taking control of the fire department.

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