CSAC Bulletin Article

Request for Feedback on SB 610, Fire Hazard Severity Zones

June 22, 2023

The Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Policy Committee is seeking feedback on SB 610 (Wiener), a bill that changes the fire hazard severity zones (FHSZ) adoption process. The bill would allow counties the ability to adjust the levels of FHSZ as identified by the State Fire Marshal, including decreasing the level of the FHSZ. To adjust the state’s recommendations, local agencies will need to provide a finding of necessity supported by substantial evidence.

If changes to the State Fire Marshal recommendations are made, a local agency would need to provide a public comment period of 60 days but would not be adopted until it is approved by the State Fire Marshal. Additionally, the bill would permit the State Fire Marshal to rebut a change made by a local agency.

Currently, existing law prohibits a local agency from decreasing the level of FHSZ as identified by the State Fire Marshal and prevents the State Fire Marshal from rebutting a change made by a local agency.

CSAC continues to monitor the FHSZ mapping process currently being updated by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. For any questions or concerns, please contact Catherine Freeman, cfreeman@counties.org.

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