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Fire Prevention Fee

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012

You may have received a notice from California’s Governor Brown recently that states that you will be receiving a bill requiring you to pay $150 (per year) for a fee for state fire protection services.  It states that according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), you own property in one of the designated areas and must pay the new California Fire Prevention Fee.  The Board of Equalization is required by law to collect the fee.

The fee is levied at the rate of $150 per habitable structure, which is defined as a building that can be occupied for residential use. Owners of habitable structures who are also within the boundaries of a local fire protection agency will receive a reduction of $35 per habitable structure.

They have put up a website at www.FirePreventionFee.org that answers your questions.  One of the FAQ was:

What is the State Responsibility Area (SRA)?
The State Responsibility Area includes state and privately-owned forest, watershed, and rangeland where the State of California has primary financial responsibility for the prevention and suppression of wildfires. SRA does not include lands within city boundaries or in federal ownership. SRA is determined under regulations of the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board). The SRA definition can be found in Public Resources Code (PRC) 4126.

SRA forms one large area (over 31 million acres and approximately 825,000 habitable structures) to which CAL FIRE provides a basic level of fire prevention and protection services. Many areas receive augmented fire protection from local fire protection agencies.

We all recognize that the chance of catastropic fire increases as areas become drier with less rain and more people move into less populated areas.  Knowing how to keep your home protected by keeping a safe zone cleared around your home and making sure you have a complete inventory of your belongings are both part of being prepared.