With the closure of a second round of public comment on CalFire’s State Responsibility Area Fire Hazard Severity Zones map Wednesday, Aug. 9, Lassen News asked CalFire what residents can expect in the future and if those comments are available for public inspection.
According to Kara Garrett, an associate governmental program analyst for CalFire, “For the next steps, the Office of the State Fire Marshal will review the comments received during the public comment period. If any of the comments that have been received require a change to the regulation, the appropriate change will be made.
“The Office of the State Fire Marshal will determine whether a public comment period is required for the changes to the originally proposed text. If another public comment period is required, the Office of the State Fire Marshal will republish the regulation for the specific area(s) where the change occurred and designate a new public comment period. If a public comment period is required and comments are received during it, the Office of the State Fire Marshal will follow the process above to determine whether a change and/or public comment period is required, or whether to submit the Final Statement of Reasons to the Office of Administrative Law.
“Once CalFire submits the Office of Administrative Law package, and the final ordinance is approved, the documents will be public. A member of the public can also submit a Public Records Request at the following website to view the comments made.
“Also, in your email, you do state that the map evaluates risk. It might seem like semantics, but risk versus hazard is a very important distinction because ‘Hazard’ is based on the physical conditions that create a likelihood and expected fire behavior over a 30- to 50-year period without considering mitigation measures such as home hardening, recent wildfire, or fuel reduction efforts. ‘Risk’ is the potential damage a fire can do to the area under existing conditions, accounting for any modifications such as fuel reduction projects, defensible space, and ignition resistant building construction. Fire Hazard Severity Zone map evaluates ‘hazard’ not ‘risk.’
“Questions can be asked any time by either calling our hotline at (916) 633-7655 or sending an email to [email protected].
“Please review our website at osfm.fire.ca.gov/fhsz to learn more about the CalFire Hazard Severity Zone Map.”