An Article you might have missed but should read:
Fire Department to Host Fire Hazard Meeting
The meeting will focus on the State's new Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map and will be held Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at theOASISSeniorCenterin Corona del Mar. The map is the result of Senate Bill 1595, which became law on Jan. 1, 2009 and requires the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to identify and classify fire hazards in each Local Responsibility Area throughout the state.
Under the State Government Code, CAL FIRE is responsible for identifying very high fire hazard severity zones throughoutCaliforniaand for sharing this information with local agencies, including the city ofNewport Beach. The information enables local officials to identify measures to help mitigate the rate at which a fire will spread, and help reduce the potential intensity of uncontrolled fires that threaten to destroy resources, life, or property. In turn, local agencies are responsible for making CAL FIRE’s recommendations available for public review and designating, by ordinance, very high fire hazard severity zones within their jurisdictions. The item before the City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 14 is intended to meet that obligation.
Landowners whose property is located within a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone will be required to:
- Provide defensible space if the home directly abuts a canyon or other wildland space. The amount of defensible space required will be a minimum of 100 feet, or to the home owner’s property line, from any occupied dwelling or structure.
- Any new construction, reconstruction or additions are required to comply with the California Building Code Chapter 7A “Fire Resistive Construction”. This chapter of the Building Code requires the use of “Ignition Resistant Materials” for such things as decks and building sidings. It also requires vents that won’t allow for ember intrusion into attic space and dual glazed windows and doors that will stand up to radiated heat from a wildfire.
- Any Real Estate transaction will require the disclosure that the property is located in a VHFHSZ area.
Most homes built inNewportCoastalready comply with the Building Code Chapter 7A requirements and already have Fuel Modification Zones where the homes abut the wildland area.
New and reconstructed homes in Corona del Mar that abut canyons such as Buck Gully and Morning Canyon have been required to comply with Building Code Chapter 7A and provide and maintain a fuel modification zone since 2001. But the flammable vegetation within 100 feet or to the property line of these homes will need to be reduced. The Newport Beach Fire Department will work with each property owner in these locations to come up with a plan that will decrease the threat from fire.
Homes and businesses that are located in the VHFHSZ that do not abut a wildland area, and all other homes and businesses in Newport Beach would still be required to conform to the existing fire code regulations regarding weeds and dead or dying vegetation per Section 305 of the California Fire Code.
Collectively, the measures to make homes more fire resistive and the reduction in flammable vegetation are intended to give firefighters time to amass the resources required to defend homes from an approaching wildfire.
The new map can be viewed by visiting www.newportbeachca.gov/firehazardmap or by calling the Newport Beach Fire Department at 949-644-3361.
The CAL FIRE website contains an extensive list of questions and answers about Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones in local responsibility areas at www.fire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/fire_prevention_wildland_faqs.php
Wanted to make sure you heard about this, it should be very informative and important.
Marlene Dietrich, Tony & Mike