Comment Period Starts for New Statewide Fire Hazard Severity Map
The State Fire Marshall has released the much-anticipated Fire Hazard Severity Zone (FHSZ) map and has begun a public comment period for the regulatory process. The FHSZ is a comprehensive map that ranks California’s State Responsibility Area (SRA) – or rural, unincorporated areas – based on the likelihood different areas will experience wildfire.
As expected, the new map shows increased fire hazard, reflecting California’s increase in wildfire occurrence and severity because of many factors, including a changing climate. The map has been updated to more accurately reflect the zones in California that are susceptible to wildfire, to help provide transparency for planning and preparedness efforts, and to provide communities a forecasting tool so that the public can take steps to prevent and prepare for wildfire. The hazard mapping process incorporates local climate data and changes in burn probability based on recent trends in fire occurrence.
A few key issues:
- This current revision only updates areas in California’s SRA. This does not include cities or large urban areas.
- This process does not change rules or requirements for homes or properties in these areas related to wildfire prevention, preparedness, and mitigation. The same requirements will remain regardless of whether a particular area is reclassified or not.
- County meetings scheduled for public review. These maps are being shared for your comments and questions during the regulatory process. Information on the public hearing process and hearings can be found on CAL FIRE’s website.
For individual homeowners, please search your address using a new FHSZ Viewer at osfm.fire.ca.gov/FHSZ.
Public comment for this proposed action is open through February 3, 2023. CalFIRE will host an opportunity for in-person comments and questions on January 24, 2023, at 11:00 AM at the Inyo County Administration Office located at 224 N. Edwards St. Independence, CA 93526.
Written comments may be submitted via US mail to:
Office of the State Fire Marshal
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
P.O. Box 944246
Sacramento, CA 94244-2460
Attn: Scott Witt, Deputy Chief
or by email to: [email protected]
(From Inyo County Office of Emergency Services)