The Regulatory Process

The updates to fire hazard severity zone maps for state responsibility areas are authorized under state law, Public Resources Code (PRC) sections 4202 to 4204. The code authorizes the CAL FIRE Director to:

  • classify state responsibility area lands for fire hazard;
  • establish zones reflecting degree of hazard severity;
  • hold public hearings in each county prior to adoption of updates; and
  • periodically review and update fire hazard severity zones designations.

These broad statutes are made specific by a regulation. The proposed regulation for this map update is an amendment to Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 1280, Fire Hazard Severity Zones.

The regulation amendment is a simple, short statement of where the maps are filed and the effective date of the maps. Following adoption of the regulation by the CAL FIRE Director, and approval by the Office of Administrative Law, the map will be on file with CAL FIRE and the Secretary of State's office as the official map until the next formal update.

The procedures for adoption of this regulation are stated in the Administrative Procedures Act (Government Code 11340 et seq) and the above listed code sections. The major requirements for adoption of this regulation are:

  • Create a fire hazard map, draft regulatory language, and compile other information disclosures about the effects of the regulation/map update;
  • Send out notice of the proposed regulation change;
  • Hold public hearings regarding the regulation/map proposal in the 56 counties that have state responsibility area lands;
  • Director considers public comments received about the proposed regulation/map updates prior to adoption;
  • Amend the maps and re-notice the amendments if found necessary by the Director;
  • Director adopts the final regulation and map;
  • Final adopted regulatory documents are filed and approved by the Office of Administrative Law and endorsed by the Secretary of State.

CAL FIRE anticipates endorsement of the regulation and maps by the Secretary of State by December 31, 2007.

After the SRA maps are approved, the CAL FIRE director will send updated maps to all local jurisdictions that have lands that meet the criteria of very high fire hazard severity zones. The local government will then commence discussions on the acceptance of the recommendations.

 

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