A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for an $8.2 million fire station in the East County community of Pine Valley that will be nearly double the size of the current facility.
When finished in about a year, the 13,000-square-feet station on Old Highway 80 will be operated by Cal Fire. The county acquired the land adjacent to the existing 6,900-square-foot building, which will be demolished.
“This new station helps deliver on our promise to boost wildfire protection in our most fire-prone communities,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said. “Since the deadly Cedar Fire in 2003, the county has spent $460 million on fire and emergency service improvements in the backcountry — and this new station builds on that.”
The current station is 43 years old and was built when the rural, hilly area about 40 miles east of San Diego was protected by a volunteer fire department, so it has just two sleeping rooms.
County officials said the new station — in an area where brush fires are not uncommon — will provide sleeping quarters for two captains, a battalion chief and a dozen firefighters.
“We are planning for the future fire service needs of Pine Valley, and building an efficient and expandable facility that will be able to accommodate the community as it grows,” said Cal Fire Unit Chief Tony Mecham. “It will be a better fit in terms of size and safety for our firefighters and apparatus, and it will be a vast improvement to the community.”
In addition to serving Pine Valley, the station will support the nearby communities of Descanso, Mt. Laguna and Boulevard.
–City News Service
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