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California in Brief / SAN JACINTO

Reservation fire response revised

June 04, 2008|David Kelly

Firefighters will now respond to calls on at least part of the Soboba Indian reservation without a law enforcement escort, officials said Tuesday.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said it would answer calls in the area near the casino, the church, the tribal offices and schools along Soboba Road without sheriff's deputies providing security.

But it still will not go into the more remote parts of the reservation still deemed too risky for firefighters.

Last month, the forestry department adopted a policy of not answering calls on the reservation without security because of shootouts between tribal members and police that left three Soboba members dead in less than a week.

"We have been in discussions with everyone involved, including the Sheriff's Department," said Capt. Julie Hutchinson, a forestry department spokeswoman. "And we feel we can go back to normal response in the more populated areas."

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