One of the highlights of the San Diego County Fair is the annual Burn Run, when firefighters form a convoy and parade toward the Fire Expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, with lights flashing and horns honking as Highway Patrol officers serve as an escort.
But this year the parade that was scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled, as the CHP has decided not to escort the fire trucks along the route.
“We were all ready to go but the CHP informed us that they can no longer support the event,” said Jim Floros, executive director of the Burn Institute, which organizes the Fire Expo.
An unconfirmed report said that due to an accident involving CHP escorts in Los Angeles, the state has suspended all parade escorts and processions. Numerous messages left with the CHP were not returned.
Floros said that this year would have been the 22nd year for the Burn Run.
“The CHP would close intersections and do the escort, and that’s what made it so exciting and powerful, but they said they don’t feel like they can support the event after 21 years,” Floros said.
The Burn Run parade may be back next year with a multi-agency escort, possibly including the Sheriff’s Department and police departments along the route, Floros said.
While there is disappointment over the canceled Burn Run, the Fire Expo will go on as planned on Saturday at the fair. Admission is free for fairgoers, and it will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fire trucks from around the county will stage at the Albertsons in Del Mar around 11:30 a.m., have lunch and roll into the fairgrounds for an arrival ceremony.
Highlights will include a firefighter demolition derby, live demonstrations including extinguishing a car fire and rappelling from the arena rafters and fire safety exhibits.
For the past year, fire stations all over the county have been raising money, through T-shirt sales and other events, in support of the Burn Institute and its Camp Beyond the Scars, a camp for child and adolescent burn survivors. Checks will be presented to the institute on Saturday. Last year the event raised over $200,000 for the institute, with about $4,000 coming from Poway.
Bill Stoudenmire contributed to this report.