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Wildland

WILDLAND - STATE RESPONSIBILITY AREA

A Brief Explanation

CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE, Section 4125 et seq.

California law requires a seller to disclose to a prospective transferee of real property if the property is located within a wildland area and, if it is, that there may be substantial risk of forest fires and related hazards and the owner of the property is subject to certain statutory obligations specified in Public Resources Code, Section 4291. Disclosure must be made if:

  • a seller (if acting without an agent) or the seller's agent has "actual knowledge" that the property is located within a wildland fire area, OR

  • a map prepared by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (the "DFFP") that includes the property has been provided to the city or county, and a notice has been posted at the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies the location of the map and any information regarding changes to the map received by the county.

For property located within a wildland area, a seller must also disclose that:

  • except for property located within a county which has assumed responsibility for prevention and suppression of all fires (Public Resources Code, Section 4129), it is not the state's responsibility to provide fire protection services to any building or structure located within wildlands unless the Department has entered into a cooperative agreement with a local agency (Public Resources Code, Section 4142);

  • there may be substantial forest fire risks and hazards; and

  • THE PROPERTY OWNER IS SUBJECT TO THE IMPOSITION OF FIRE MITIGATION MEASURES SET FORTH IN THE PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE WHICH MAY SUBSTANTIALLY IMPACT AND LIMIT CONSTRUCTION AND REMODELING OF IMPROVEMENTS AND LANDSCAPING (PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE, SECTION 4291).

BACKGROUND:

Pursuant to California Public Resources Code Section 4125 et seq., which is commonly known as the State Fire Responsibility Act (the "SFR Act"), the State Board of Forestry classifies all lands within the State of California based on factors such as cover, beneficial use of water from watersheds, probable damage from erosion, and fire risks and hazards to determine those areas for which the financial responsibility of preventing and suppressing fires is primarily the responsibility of the State of California. The prevention and suppression of fires in all areas which are not within a state responsibility area is primarily the responsibility of the local or federal agencies, as applicable.

State Responsibility Areas INCLUDE those lands which are:

  • covered wholly or in part by forests or by trees producing or capable of producing forest products.

  • covered wholly or in part by timber, brush, undergrowth, or grass, whether of commercial value or not, which protect the soil from excessive erosion, retard runoff of water or accelerate water percolation, if such lands are sources of water which is available for irrigation or for domestic or industrial use.

  • in areas principally used or useful for range or forage purposes and are contiguous to the lands described above.

State Responsibility Areas DO NOT INCLUDE those lands which are:

  • owned or controlled by the federal government or any agency of the federal government.

  • within the exterior boundaries of any city, except a city and county with a population of less than 25,000 if, at the time the city and county government is established, the county contains no municipal corporations.

  • located within the State but do not come within any of the classes specifically described as being included.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

For more information, please contact the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in Sacramento or visit their internet site at http://www.fire.ca.gov/.



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