The string of wildfires around the county this week has underscored just how crucial it is for fire departments and local agencies to work together.

That was one of the objectives San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts set out to achieve with his push for a fire parcel tax in 2008. That would’ve helped pay for more fire protection, including the creation of a regional fire protection agency.

The tax failed. But the Board of Supervisors had just a few months earlier created a San Diego County Fire Authority to consolidate the work of more than 50 volunteer, independent and state fire protection efforts.

As a result, Roberts said, there’s been a vast improvement in communication and collaboration compared to the fires in 2003 and 2007.

Roberts joined us on the podcast this week to talk in depth about the fire response efforts, as well as his multiple bids for mayor and the brand spankin’ new waterfront park downtown (another project he championed).

Download the episode below, and check out the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

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Show Notes

• We fact-checked a claim last year by Roberts’ compadre on the Board of Supervisors, Dianne Jacob, about the improvements in preparedness since the creation of the county fire authority.

• Firenadoes, as spotted around SD County this week, sound terrifying. Slate’s Eric Holthaus demystified the phenomenon.

• Here’s that Washington Post story about national shifts in the GOP. To get an idea of how that might affect the race for the 52nd Congressional District, check out our reader’s guides to Rep. Scott Peters and Republican challengers Carl DeMaio, Kirk Jorgensen and Fred Simon.

• We named DeMaio our Goat of the Week after his staff plagiarized a report by National Journal. He apologized, but this isn’t the first time he’s been accused of copying.

•  Donna Frye’s write-in campaign for mayor in 2004 kind of screwed things up for Roberts. At the time, Scott Lewis wrote fr the Daily Transcript about the “significant inconsistency between the city’s charter and its municipal code” that allowed things to unfold the way they did. (Alas, you’ll need a DT subscription to read it.)

Catherine Green

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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