Rancho Santa Fe Fire District submits application to reorganize with Elfin Forest/Harmon Grove


The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District Board of Directors, on behalf of the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) and in cooperation with County Service Area 107 (CSA 107), which encompasses Elfin Forest and Harmony Grove, has filed an application with San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) requesting the two agencies be reorganized so that CSA 107 would be included in the RSFFPD’s service area. The reorganization would improve the delivery of fire protection, emergency medical, fire prevention, and public education services for all communities within service area.

The Board of Directors directed Fire Chief Tony Michel to submit the LAFCO application to start the negotiation with the County of San Diego for the potential reorganization of the district.

“It will benefit not only the residents of Harmony Grove and Elfin Forest, but also those residing within the Fire District as it exists now by improving fire prevention and safety services as well as creating opportunities for common community outreach, education and preparedness programs,” said board member John Tanner. Fellow board member Tucker Stine added that “the reorganization of the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District to join forces with Elfin Forest’s Volunteer Fire Department is truly a remarkable initiative. Not only can we increase our resources, lessen response times and combine our expertise, but it enables our residents much greater access to safer communities during fire seasons. We are looking forward to this endeavor.”

Frank Twohy, Fire Chief for and longtime resident of Elfin Forest, agreed.

“The Elfin Forest/Harmony Grove Fire Department and our Board of Directors have long felt that reorganization with the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District would be a very good thing. It is the next logical step in improving fire protection and emergency response to our communities. We could not have a better agency to become a part of than the Rancho Santa Fe Fire District.”

The concept of merging CSA 107 with the Fire District has been discussed for years. According to Shirley Anderson, retired assistant executive officer for LAFCO, “San Diego LAFCO recognized the service connections and dependencies between the Rancho Santa Fe FPD and the neighboring Elfin Forest/Harmony Grove CSA almost 30 years ago. In 1987, the Commission placed CSA 107 under the sphere-of-influence of the much larger RSFFPD; subsequent LAFCO approvals and studies, which methodically reaffirmed the relationship between the two fire protection agencies, established a de facto plan for improving regional fire protection services by combining the two agencies according to the original LAFCO vision.”

The mission of the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District is “To protect life, property, and environment through prevention, preparedness, education and emergency response.” Formed in 1946, the Fire District now spans approximately 38-square miles and protects over 29,000 citizens. The Fire District currently operates out of four full-time fire stations and serves the communities within and surrounding Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, and 4S-Ranch.