All eyes have been on California flood zones – and waterlogged areas that typically don’t experience flooding – in recent days. We’re also keeping a watchful eye on the approval process for the state’s new Fire Hazard Severity Zone (FHSZ) maps because an important deadline is looming and we need YOU to take timely action.
State officials are giving Californians 33 business days to weigh in on maps produced after a decade of internal agency work.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) released updated draft FHSZ maps right before the holidays, with a 45-day window for public comment that ends Friday, February 3rd. This is not a reasonable deadline! Consider office closures during the winter holidays. Information about methodology and key data sets also have been not released to the public. BizFed is urging CalFire and the State Fire Marshal to:
- Extend the public comment period by 60 days
- Disclose methodology
- Provide a summary of differences between the 2007 and 2022 models.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We need BizFed members to show up and speak up at CalFire’s public hearings throughout the state OR submit a public comment letter to FHSZcomments@fire.ca.gov. We welcome you to add your logo to a crisp coalition letter prepared by the California Chamber, currently signed by BizFed and the California Building Industry Association.
This process cannot be rushed. These zones identify where the state of California has financial responsibility for wildfire protection.
Business leaders across all industries are stakeholders vested in the outcomes of these public processes. Use your voices to remind regulators that giving the public such an aggressive timeline to evaluate maps that took years to develop – especially without understanding how the maps were created – will curtail meaningful input and may result in inaccurate map designations.
BizFed Founding CEO