A majority in numbers doesn't always rule.

Take for example the 124 property owners in the Zone of Increased Benefits in the greater McCloud  area who voted on Measure F on Nov. 2 ballot. Eighty-two of the property owners voted in favor of 24/7 year-round fire and health protection from CALFIRE, and 42 voted against it.   

But because a two-thirds majority was needed to pass the measure, it came up one vote short of passing.

Siskiyou County Clerk Colleen Setzer said her office is doing a hand count on Measure F before the entire county’s election results are certified, which she anticipates on Nov. 29.

If passed Measure F  would have added $45 to property owners’ annual development property tax bill. The extra tax amount would be subject to a cost of living allowance of no more than three percent in a year.

“I was kinda shocked,” said ZIB Advisory Board member Richard Brickell. “I thought it would be approved. I think maybe it might have passed, with a one percent COLA.” 

Siskiyou Unit CAL?FIRE McCloud Station Engineer David Welin said, “With the defeat of Measure F, CAL FIRE will be considered in ‘Amador,’ which is winter staffing. This means a staffing of a minimum of two people and one engine.”

The Amador Plan originated in Amador County and can basically be explained as follows:

Since the state maintains a fire fighting facility and staff to protect against fires during the fire season, a county, city, district or any combination thereof may contract with CAL FIRE to keep the facility open during the non-fire season for the protection of life and property. The agency seeking the contract will pick up any additional costs above that  which the state would normally pay during the winter months. This typically is utilities, communications, engine rental, and one firefighter to cover every day of the week.

Welin said their station typically runs two engines, staffed by a minimum of three people on each engine,   24/7 during declared fire season.

“The last couple of years there’s been an executive order signed by the governor that has allowed us to put on a fourth person on the engine,” he said. “That makes a really big difference because the laws pertaining to fighting structure fires requires that in order to go in and fight the fire you have to have two people outside the building. So, if we have three people on an engine, unless we have an imminent life threat, we're stuck. We can't take suppression action against the fire.”

The McCloud ZIB area includes property outside of the McCloud Community Services District. Included is Squaw Valley, Wilderness Estates, Mt. Shasta Forest Property Owners Association, Hearst Corporation, Hancock Forest Management, Willow Creek Ranch,  Bascom Pacific L.L.C., Roseburg Forest Products, and Sierra Pacific Industries, as well as Forest Service land to the Siskiyou County line.

“CAL FIRE does respond to any 911 calls,” said Welin.