At the urging of a California Chamber of Commerce-led coalition, state agencies have extended the time they will take comments on a recently released map of fire hazard zones in the state.
The updated fire hazard severity zone designations affect approximately 31 million acres of California and determine, among other things, planning decisions, building code applications and the availability and cost of residential home insurance for millions of Californians.
Last week, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Office of the State Fire Marshal granted the CalChamber coalition’s request for an additional 60 days to provide comment on the recently released draft Fire Hazard Severity Zones (FHSZ) map for the State Responsibility Areas (SRA).
Although CAL FIRE spent the better half of a decade internally developing a new model to update the 2007 FHSZ map, the public was given notice on December 14, 2022 of a 45-day comment period.
The CalChamber-led coalition of more than 50 organizations included local governments and submitted a letter requesting an additional 60 days of public comment.
More Thorough Review
The coalition noted that the additional time provided to stakeholders would allow for a more thorough review and comments to better inform the regulatory outcome that CAL FIRE and the public hopes to achieve. Recognizing the breadth of affected stakeholders seeking additional time, CAL FIRE granted the 60-day extension request.
The comment period is now extended from February 3, 2023 to April 4, 2023.