Want fire suppression? Then seek annexation
The Beckwourth Fire District is making it clear: it wants annexation to provide suppression.
During the Board of Supervisors’ Aug. 6 meeting, Fire Chief Greg McCaffrey and Chairman George Bundy discussed a July 22 letter sent to County Counsel Craig Settlemire.
It stated that effective Aug. 1, the district would no longer provide fire protection for a Forest Service fire station located on county-owned property at the Nervino Airport.
The district had been providing service to the fire station with the understanding that the property would be annexed into the fire district. That didn’t happen and an application to LAFCo (Local Agency Formation Commission) was not submitted by the July 1, 2012, deadline as outlined in a July 1, 2010, agreement.
The letter offered to continue service, but only with a signed agreement, a commitment for $3,000 per year and the pledge that the county and Forest Service would support annexation of the airport into the fire district.
“We are not doing any more out-of-area service agreements,” McCaffrey said. “We will just annex.”
Annexation can be an expensive process, and McCaffrey said that the county missed an opportunity to annex in with nine other properties that got what he referred to as a “sweet deal.”
“I think all airports should be annexed,” said Supervisor Lori Simpson, upon learning that the other two county airports weren’t entirely in fire protection districts either.
County Counsel Craig Settlemire said that he and Dony Sawchuk, the county’s airport coordinator, would meet with the fire districts to pursue annexation for the airports.
When pressed, McCaffrey admitted that if there were a fire at the Nervino Airport, his department would respond if available.