This week RCRC staff convened a meeting with the California Board of Forestry (BOF) staff, state fire officials, county and city local government staff, and statewide association representatives to discuss issues with the BOF proposed changes to the State Fire Safe regulations. Individuals representing both city and county public works, planning, fire protection and disaster recovery, expressed serious concerns with the impacts the proposed revisions will have on rural communities and the detrimental effects on housing production throughout the state. Numerous individuals also questioned the fiscal practicality of operationalizing various provisions of the BOF proposal, both at the state and local level.
During the meeting, BOF staff announced that a new revised proposal will be released on Monday, February 8th, which will incorporate modifications based on public comments received since November. BOF staff also notified the group that the previously scheduled February 9th workshop would be rescheduled to the afternoon of February 24th in order to give the public more time to review and comment on the revised rulemaking language. BOF staff is requesting that comments on the new language released next week be submitted by February 17th. All public comment received by the BOF since the first workshop in November is now available for viewing on the BOF website, and will be updated weekly. Formal notice of the workshop is forthcoming.
The State Fire Safe regulations set forth basic wildfire protection standards for development in the State Responsibility Area and, beginning July 1, 2021, the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones of the Local Responsibility Area. The changes made in the draft rulemaking, will have far reaching impacts throughout the state, affecting both housing and businesses growth in rural and urban communities.
RCRC staff has been in discussions with the BOF since April, 2020 on proposed revisions to the State Fire Safe regulations and have offered both written and oral comments on the preceding emergency rulemaking that ultimately made more minor changes to the regulations.
For updates from the BOF on the Fire Safe Regulations and other activities of the BOF Resource Protection Committee, subscribe to email updates here. For more information, please contact Tracy Rhine at email@example.com.