Since Station 60 closed its doors on July 1 2015, Canyon Lake has had to rely on fire services from nearby stations in Lake Elsinore and Menifee.
After two years of pleading with the county to serve Canyon Lake with a smaller crew at a lesser cost so that Canyon Lake could reopen Station 60, Mayor Dawn Haggerty announced on March 7 that Fire Station 60 will reopen with a two-person crew for at least one year.
County fire representatives offered Calimesa a one year option that allows Calimesa to continue operating its station with a two-person crew despite the county’s mandate of three people to an engine. Canyon Lake is seeking the same option.
In response to the Mayor’s announcement, Riverside County District 1 Supervisor Kevin Jeffries says, “This announcement might be a little premature if it’s supposed to be staffed by CalFire (state) employees. If it doesn’t involve CalFire as the provider – then it could be an arrangement I’m not aware of. Not saying this is completely incorrect – just advising hold on.”
When asked for further clarification, Kevin says he and County Fire Chief John Hawkins are not aware of any formal action by the Canyon Lake City Council to implement the same type of agreement offered to Calimesa.
The Supervisor added, if Canyon Lake pursues the same type of agreement, it will likely be approved; however, there are still the requirements of a formal approval of the final contract.
Canyon Lake City Manager Aaron Palmer says, “We are hoping to get the contract done and approved by the Board of Supervisors within the next 60 days, shooting for a July 1 contract implementation, which would mean the reopening of Station 60 on July 1.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Vicki Warren says, “We are hoping this is a sign of a good change where fire services will be more flexible to suit smaller cities.”