JULIAN, Calif. — California officials say volunteer firefighters have appeared to exhaust all legal options to avoid a county agency from taking over their fire department.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported that a final lawsuit aimed at stopping the San Diego County Fire Authority from taking over the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District was scheduled Thursday for Nov. 15.

Officials say the fire authority was created to replace volunteer firefighters with professionals and add upgraded equipment after recent wildfires in the region damaged communities.

Volunteer firefighters locked themselves in the main fire station for months and refused access to a county transition team in an April protest despite financial struggles.

The county says they have since gained access to the building and assumed all response duties.

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