Excerpts from California State Fire Prevention Laws Applicable to Forest Fire Prevention

Fire Hazard Reduction:

Clearances Around Structures

Any person that owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains any structure in, upon, or adjoining any mountainous area or forest-covered lands, brush-covered lands or grass-covered lands, or any land which is covered with flammable material, shall at all times do all the following:
  1. Maintain around and adjacent to such building or structure a firebreak made by removing and clearing away, for a distance of not less than 30 feed on each side thereof or to the property line, whichever is nearer all flammable vegetation or other combustible growth. This subdivision does not apply to singe specimens of trees, ornamental shrubbery, or similar plants which are sued as ground cover, if they do not form a means of rapidly transmitting fire from the native growth to any building or structure.
  2. Maintain around and adjacent to such building or structure additional fire protection or firebreak made by removing all brush, flammable vegetation , or combustible growth which is located from 30 feet to 100 feet from such building or structure to the property line, whichever is nearer, as may be required by the State Forester if he finds that, because of extra hazardous conditions, a fire break of only 30 feed around such building or structure is not sufficient to provide reasonable fire safety. Grass and other vegetation located more than 30 feed from such building or structure and less than 18 inches in height above the ground may be maintained where necessary to stabilize the solid and prevent erosion.
  3. Remove that portion of any tree which extends within 10 feet of the outlet of any chimney or stovepipe.
  4. Maintain any tree adjacent to or overhanging any building free of dead or dying wood.
  5. Maintain the roof of any structure free of leaves, needles, or other dead vegetative growth.
  6. Provide and maintain at all times a screen over the outlet of every chimney or stovepipe that is attached to any fireplace;, stove, or other device that burns any solid or liquid fuel. The screen shall be constructed of nonflammable material with openings of not more than one-half inch in size.
  7. The Director may adopt regulations exempting structures with exteriors constructed entirely of nonflammable materials, or conditioned upon the contents and composition of same, he may vary the requirements respecting the removing or clearing away of flammable vegetation or other combustible growth with respect to the area surrounding said structures.
No such exemption or variance shall apply unless and until the occupant thereof, or if there be no occupant, than the owner thereof, files with the State Forester, such form as the Director shall prescribe, a written consent to the inspection of the interior and contents of such structure to ascertain whether the provisions here of and the regulations adopted hereunder are complied with at all times. (PRC 4291)

State of California, The Resources Agency, Department of Forestry
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