The new, two-bay fire station off state Route 79 in Julian that had become a symbol of the struggle between residents wanting to maintain the old ways and those wanting to modernize is now home to the county’s professional firefighters. They moved in last week, eight months after the community voted to dissolve the region’s last volunteer fire department.
Gone are the volunteers who manned the station for the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District and protected the popular tourist destination for nearly 40 years. Despite briefly locking themselves into the station last spring and refusing to leave to protest the takeover, they eventually were forced from the property after a series of legal setbacks.
Though some still hold out a sliver of hope they will one day regain the property and their oversight of the rural area, the lawsuit challenging the district’s dissolution was dismissed a few weeks ago, finally freeing the county to move in.