At its meeting on Wednesday, the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) tabled an agendized discussion of the State Fire Safe Regulations (Regulations). Board Chair, Keith Gilless stated, “Because the Board is listening carefully and trying to make the best possible decisions for the State in terms of our responsibilities, we are simply unready to proceed with item 12a [Fire Safe Regulations].” He continued, “We are going to come back to this but are simply not in a place where we can deal with it in the way we want at this meeting.”
In January the Board released another revised draft of the proposed regulations. RCRC, along with the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), and the Urban Counties of California (UCC), submitted formal comments to the Board on the latest revisions during the 15-day public comment period. In a letter that accompanied the comments, the organizations strongly urged the Board to reconsider its approach to the regulations. The Board has been in the process of making significant changes to the existing Fire Safe Regulations since early 2020, however, it has been unable to find consensus on those rules, receiving significant opposition from environmental groups, local governments and developers on the detrimental effects of the proposed changes.
The Board approved emergency regulations in July 2020 to amend the Fire Safe rules to specifically exempt legally reconstructed homes damaged by wildfires and the creation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) from the Fire Safe standards. The Board readopted the rules twice, with the final and last allowable readoption expiring March 8, 2022. The Fire Safe Regulations will revert to those in effect prior to the adoption of the emergency regulations in 2020.
For more information, contact RCRC Senior Policy Advocate, Tracy Rhine.