Supervisors have approved a $14-million loan for operating expenses at Kern County Fire, which is owed millions in state reimbursements. Chief Brian Marshall said Tuesday that efforts to speed up payments are working, but “there may be more decisions where we say ‘no’ in order to protect our financial resources.” Mick Gleason did not want firefighters to miss paychecks because of the cash flow, saying “I’m gonna support this. I don’t like it, but I’m going to support it.” Marshall plans to ro report back with details about our mutual aid obligations, which he says also benefit Kern County during local emergencies like the Erskine Fire in Lake Isabella, and last year’s Thomas Fire that burned close to our border with Ventura County.

Suzanne Grant