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AB-1516 Fire prevention: wildfire risk: defensible space and fuels reduction management.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/11/2019 09:00 PM
AB1516:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 06, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 30, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1516


Introduced by Assembly Member Friedman

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections 23010, 51182, and 51186 of the Government Code, and to amend Sections 4201, 4291, 4740, and 4741 of, and to add Sections 4291.2 4204.1, 4204.2, and 4295.6 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to fire prevention.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1516, as amended, Friedman. Fire prevention: wildfire risk: defensible space and fuels reduction management.
(1) Existing law requires the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to identify areas in the state as very high fire hazard severity zones based on specified criteria and the severity of the fire hazard. Existing law requires that a person who owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains an occupied dwelling or structure in, upon, or adjoining a mountainous area, forest-covered land, brush-covered land, grass-covered land, or land that is covered with flammable material that is within a very high fire hazard severity zone, as designated by a local agency, or a building or structure in, upon, or adjoining those areas or lands within a state responsibility area, to maintain a defensible space of 100 feet from each side and from the front and rear of the structure, as specified. A repeated violation within a specified timeframe of those requirements is a crime.
This bill would require a person described above to utilize more intense fuel reductions between 5 and 30 feet around the structure, and to create a noncombustible zone within 5 feet of the structure. Because a violation of these provisions would be a crime or expand the scope of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would require each local agency having jurisdiction of property upon which conditions that are regulated by the defensible space provisions described above to annually report to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection the number of inspections, enforcement actions, and estimated compliance rates with those provisions for the property within its jurisdiction. By imposing additional reporting requirements on local agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would require each local agency having jurisdiction of property upon which conditions that are regulated by the defensible space provisions described above and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to make reasonable efforts to provide notice to affected residents of the above requirements before imposing penalties for a violation of those requirements.
This bill would require the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to (A), commencing January 1, 2021, ensure the inspection of each known structure within a state responsibility area at least once every 3 years, (B) periodically review and provide spot checks of compliance with defensible space requirements in areas where contract counties enforce those requirements within a state responsibility area, (C) provide biannual training to applicable local officials on defensible space inspections, and (D) take all feasible steps to improve compliance with defensible space requirements. The bill would require the department, by July 1, 2021, to develop a wildland-urban interface wildfire risk model to determine the risk for a community or parcel within a local responsibility area or a state responsibility area and guidelines for the proper use of the model, as provided. The bill would require the department to update the model and guidelines whenever fire hazard severity zones are revised.

This bill, in addition to other penalties in existing law, would subject a person, including a landowner, who is determined by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to be in violation of those defensible space requirements within a state responsibility area to an administrative civil penalty in an amount not to exceed the greater of $500 or the cost to perform or contract for the work necessary to comply with those requirements, as provided. If a person fails to pay a penalty imposed by the department pursuant these provisions, the bill would authorize the department to record a lien on the property in the amount of the penalty assessed by the department, and would provide that, upon recordation, the lien shall have the force, effect, and priority of a judgment lien. The bill would establish the Defensible Space Penalty Fund in the State Treasury and would require penalties collected pursuant to these provisions to be deposited into that fund and to be expended, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for fire prevention work conducted by the department.

(2) Existing law requires the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to develop, periodically update, and post on its internet website a guidance document on fuels management for purposes of very high fire hazard severity zones, as designated by a local agency, and requires the guidance document to include, but not be limited to, regionally appropriate vegetation management suggestions that preserve and restore native species.
This bill would limit these native species, for purposes of the guidance document, to those that are fire resistant or drought tolerant, or both.
(3) Existing law provides that the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection may authorize the removal of vegetation that is not consistent with specified standards regarding defensible space, as provided.
This bill would require the director to, where necessary and feasible, use members of the California Conservation Corps, a local conservation corps, a resource conservation district, fire safe councils, or other entities deemed appropriate by the director to remove that vegetation.
(4) Existing law requires a person that owns, controls, operates, or maintains an electrical transmission or distribution line upon mountainous land, or in forest-covered land, brush-covered land, or grass-covered land, to maintain certain clearances between all vegetation and all conductors that are carrying electric current during those times and in those areas determined to be necessary by the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection or the agency with primary responsibility for the fire protection of those areas. A violation of this provision and other specified provisions relating to fire prevention requirements is a crime.
This bill would require the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Public Utilities Commission, on or before January 31, 2021, to develop a guidebook of tree and shrub species that, if planted in the vicinity of electrical transmission and distribution lines, cannot encroach within 10 feet of overhead conductors at any time, and would require the guidebook to contain recommended native vegetation to plant in the vicinity of electrical transmission and distribution lines and towers that provides habitat benefits. The bill would require the department, the Public Utilities Commission, an electrical corporation, and a local publicly owned electric utility to make available on their respective internet websites the above-described guidebook. The bill would prohibit landowners, on or after January 31, 2021, from planting tree species in the vicinity of electrical transmission and distribution lines that have not been identified in, or in a location that would be inconsistent with, the provisions of that guidebook. The bill would prohibit landowners, on or after January 31, 2021, from planting vegetation, or failing to remove volunteer vegetation, vegetation near electrical transmission and distribution lines and towers that can encroach within 10 feet of overhead conductors at any time. Because a violation of those prohibitions on landowners would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would provide that any person who owns, controls, operates, or maintains any electrical transmission or distribution line, the Public Utilities Commission, or the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard to the landowner, is authorized to access properties in which vegetation has been planted, or volunteer vegetation has not been removed, planted in violation of those prohibitions on landowners for purposes of removing that vegetation at the landowner’s expense. The bill would provide that any person who owns, controls, operates, or maintains any electrical transmission or distribution line, the Public Utilities Commission, or the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard to the landowner, is authorized to access properties in which volunteer vegetation, as defined, will encroach within 10 feet of overhead conductors for purposes of removing that vegetation.
This bill would specify that the above provisions apply in both a high fire threat district, as determined by the Public Utilities Commission, and a state responsibility area.
(5) Existing law sets forth findings and declarations of the Legislature relating to the benefits of the state’s expertise in wildland fire prevention and vegetation management on forest, range, and watershed lands.
This bill would revise those findings and declarations of the Legislature.
(6) Existing law requires the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to assist local governments in preventing future wildland fire and vegetation management problems by making its wildland fire prevention and vegetation management expertise available to local governments to the extent possible within the department’s budgetary limitations.
This bill instead would require the department to assist local governments in preventing future high intensity wildland fires and instituting appropriate fuels management by making its wildland fire prevention and vegetation management expertise and dedicated fuels reduction crews available to local governments to the extent possible within the department’s budgetary limitations. The bill would explicitly define, for these purposes, “local governments” to include cities, counties, special districts, and water and electrical utilities. The bill would authorize the department to establish a cost-share or in-kind contribution requirement for any fuel reduction work conducted pursuant to these provisions, and would require the department to explore opportunities to use its dedicated fuel reduction crews for areas in proximity to common ignition sources, including, but not limited to, roadways, electrical infrastructure, and campgrounds.
(7) Existing law authorizes a county, by resolution, to loan moneys to certain local and regional districts to enable those districts to perform their functions and meet their obligations.
This bill would include a resource conservation district as a district eligible for a loan from a county.
(8) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 23010 of the Government Code is amended to read:

23010.
 (a) Pursuant to a resolution adopted by its board of supervisors, a county may lend any of its available funds to any community services district, county waterworks district, mosquito abatement district, pest abatement district, fire protection district, flood control and water conservation district, recreation and park district, resource conservation district, regional park district, regional park and open-space district, regional open-space district, resort improvement district, or public cemetery district located wholly within the county, if its funds are or when available will be in the custody of the county or any officer of the county, in order to enable the district to perform its functions and meet its obligations. The loan shall not exceed 85 percent of the district’s anticipated revenue for the fiscal year in which it is made or for the next ensuing fiscal year, and shall be repaid out of that revenue before the payment of any other obligation of the district.
(b) (1) Pursuant to a resolution adopted by its board of supervisors, a county may loan any of its available funds to a special district, in order to enable the district to perform its functions and meet its obligations. The loan shall not exceed 85 percent of the special district’s anticipated property tax revenue projected to be generated for the fiscal year in which it is made or for the next ensuing fiscal year within that portion of the district’s territory that is located within the county. The loan shall be repaid out of any available revenue of the special district before the payment of any other obligation of the district.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “special district” means a special district, as defined in Section 54775, that is located in more than one county.
(c) (1) The board of supervisors may borrow funds from the county or from other garbage disposal districts, not to exceed 85 percent of the district’s anticipated revenue for the fiscal year in which they are borrowed or for the next ensuing fiscal year. In levying taxes or prescribing and collecting fees or charges as authorized by this division, the board of supervisors may raise sufficient revenues to repay the loans.
(2) The board of supervisors may lend available district funds to another garbage disposal district, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this section.
(3) Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the board of supervisors from borrowing funds from banks or other financial institutions when the best interests of the district are served thereby.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, funds, when borrowed by a garbage disposal district pursuant to subdivision (c), shall forthwith increase the appropriations of the district for which they are needed. The governing body of the entity from which the funds are borrowed may specify the date and manner in which the funds shall be repaid. The loan shall not exceed 85 percent of the district’s anticipated revenue for the fiscal year in which it is made or for the next ensuing fiscal year, and shall be repaid out of that revenue before the payment of any other obligation of the district.
(e) The district shall pay interest on all funds borrowed from the county at the same rate that the county applies to funds of the district on deposit with the county.

SEC. 2.

 Section 51182 of the Government Code is amended to read:

51182.
 (a) A person who owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains an occupied dwelling or occupied structure in, upon, or adjoining a mountainous area, forest-covered land, brush-covered land, grass-covered land, or land that is covered with flammable material, which area or land is within a very high fire hazard severity zone designated by the local agency pursuant to Section 51179, shall at all times do all of the following:
(1) (A) Maintain defensible space of 100 feet from each side and from the front and rear of the structure, but not beyond the property line except as provided in subparagraph (B). The amount of fuel modification necessary shall take into account the flammability of the structure as affected by building material, building standards, location, and type of vegetation. Fuels shall be maintained in a condition so that a wildfire burning under average weather conditions would be unlikely to ignite the structure. This subparagraph does not apply to single specimens of trees or other vegetation that are well-pruned and maintained so as to effectively manage fuels and not form a means of rapidly transmitting fire from other nearby vegetation to a structure or from a structure to other nearby vegetation. The intensity of fuels management may vary within the 100-foot perimeter of the structure, with more intense fuel reductions being utilized between 5 and 30 feet around the structure, and a noncombustible zone being required within 5 feet of the structure. Consistent with fuels management objectives, steps should be taken to minimize erosion.
(B) A greater distance than that required under subparagraph (A) may be required by state law, local ordinance, rule, or regulation. Clearance beyond the property line may only be required if the state law, local ordinance, rule, or regulation includes findings that the clearing is necessary to significantly reduce the risk of transmission of flame or heat sufficient to ignite the structure, and there is no other feasible mitigation measure possible to reduce the risk of ignition or spread of wildfire to the structure. Clearance on adjacent property shall only be conducted following written consent by the adjacent landowner.
(C) An insurance company that insures an occupied dwelling or occupied structure may require a greater distance than that required under subparagraph (A) if a fire expert, designated by the fire chief or fire official from the authority having jurisdiction, provides findings that the clearing is necessary to significantly reduce the risk of transmission of flame or heat sufficient to ignite the structure, and there is no other feasible mitigation measure possible to reduce the risk of ignition or spread of wildfire to the structure. The greater distance may not be beyond the property line unless allowed by state law, local ordinance, rule, or regulation.
(2) Remove that portion of a tree that extends within 10 feet of the outlet of a chimney or stovepipe.
(3) Maintain a tree, shrub, or other plant adjacent to or overhanging a building free of dead or dying wood.
(4) Maintain the roof of a structure free of leaves, needles, or other vegetative materials.
(5) Before constructing a new dwelling or structure that will be occupied or rebuilding an occupied dwelling or occupied structure damaged by a fire in that zone, the construction or rebuilding of which requires a building permit, the owner shall obtain a certification from the local building official that the dwelling or structure, as proposed to be built, complies with all applicable state and local building standards, including those described in subdivision (b) of Section 51189, and shall provide a copy of the certification, upon request, to the insurer providing course of construction insurance coverage for the building or structure. Upon completion of the construction or rebuilding, the owner shall obtain from the local building official, a copy of the final inspection report that demonstrates that the dwelling or structure was constructed in compliance with all applicable state and local building standards, including those described in subdivision (b) of Section 51189, and shall provide a copy of the report, upon request, to the property insurance carrier that insures the dwelling or structure.
(b) A person is not required under this section to manage fuels on land if that person does not have the legal right to manage fuels, nor is a person required to enter upon or to alter property that is owned by any other person without the consent of the owner of the property.
(c) (1) The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shall develop, periodically update, and post on its internet website a guidance document on fuels management pursuant to this chapter. The guidance document shall include, but not be limited to, regionally appropriate vegetation management suggestions that preserve and restore native species that are fire resistant or drought tolerant, or both, minimize erosion, minimize water consumption, and permit trees near homes for shade, aesthetics, and habitat; and suggestions to minimize or eliminate the risk of flammability of nonvegetative sources of combustion such as woodpiles, propane tanks, decks, and outdoor lawn furniture.
(2) On or before January 1, 2022, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shall update the guidance document to include suggestions for creating a noncombustible zone within five feet of a structure.

SEC. 3.

 Section 51186 of the Government Code is amended to read:

51186.
 (a) The local agency having jurisdiction of property upon which conditions regulated by Section 51182 are being violated shall notify the owner of the property to correct the conditions. If the owner fails to correct the conditions, the local agency may cause the corrections to be made, and the expenses incurred shall become a lien on the property that is the subject of the corrections when recorded in the county recorder’s office in the county in which the real property is located. The priority of the lien shall be as of the date of recording. The lien shall contain the legal description of the real property, the assessor’s parcel number, and the name of the owner of record as shown on the latest equalized assessment roll.
(b) (1) Each local agency having jurisdiction of property upon which conditions that are regulated by Section 51182 shall annually report to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection the number of inspections, enforcement actions, and estimated compliance rates with Section 51182 for the property within its jurisdiction.
(2) The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shall make the data described in paragraph (1) publicly available on its internet website.
(c) (1) Each local agency having jurisdiction of property upon which conditions that are regulated by Section 51182 shall make reasonable efforts to provide notice to affected residents within the jurisdiction of the local agency describing the requirements added by the amendments to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 51182 made in Assembly Bill 1516 of the 2019–20 Regular Session before the imposition of penalties for violating those requirements.
(2) (A) The requirement for a noncombustible zone pursuant to Section 51182 shall not take effect for new structures until the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection updates the guidance document pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 51182.
(B) The requirements for a noncombustible zone pursuant to Section 51182 shall take effect for existing structures one year after the effective date for new structures.

SEC. 4.

 Section 4201 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4201.
 The purpose of this article is to provide for the classification of lands within state responsibility areas in accordance with both the severity of fire hazard and risk present for the purpose of identifying measures to be taken to retard the rate of spreading and to reduce the potential intensity of uncontrolled fires that threaten to destroy resources, life, or property.

SEC. 5.

 Section 4204.1 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

4204.1.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2021, the department, in consultation with the State Fire Marshal and the Insurance Commissioner, shall develop a wildland-urban interface wildfire risk model, hereafter referred to as the model, that uses current wildfire hazard severity information known for the local responsibility area and the state responsibility area. The model shall be able to determine the risk for a community or parcel in a local responsibility area or state responsibility area through the input of mitigating factors into the model. The mitigation factors shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Defensible space compliance data.
(2) Whether structures meet building standards for comprehensive site and structure fire risk reduction.
(3) Community fire prevention work.
(4) Fire prevention, educational, planning, and mitigation infrastructures.
(b) The department may enter into contracts with an independent group to develop the model.
(c) The department shall review other jurisdictions’ applicable models in the development of the model.
(d) The department shall update the model whenever fire hazard severity zones are revised pursuant to Section 51181 of the Government Code or Section 4202.

SEC. 6.

 Section 4204.2 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

4204.2.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2021, the department shall develop guidelines for the proper use of the model developed pursuant to Section 4204.1. The guidelines shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The type, quality, and collection frequency of the data related to the mitigation factors with which a local agency using the model is required to comply.
(2) Methods for uploading the data for mitigating factors into the model.
(3) Provisions for making the risk determined by the model available to the department, the Insurance Commissioner, and the residents in the community or parcel for which the risk is being modeled.
(b) The department shall make the model available to a local agency that agrees to comply with the guidelines.
(c) A local agency may modify the model to allow for the input of additional mitigation factors that are locally relevant.
(d) The department shall provide technical assistance to a local agency using the model.
(e) The department shall post on its internet website general information about the model and the local agencies using the model.
(f) The department shall update the guidelines whenever the fire hazard severity zones are revised pursuant to Section 51181 of the Government Code or Section 4202.

SEC. 4.SEC. 7.

 Section 4291 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4291.
 (a) A person who owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains a building or structure in, upon, or adjoining a mountainous area, forest-covered lands, brush-covered lands, grass-covered lands, or land that is covered with flammable material, shall at all times do all of the following:
(1) (A) Maintain defensible space of 100 feet from each side and from the front and rear of the structure, but not beyond the property line, except as provided in subparagraph (B). The amount of fuel modification necessary shall take into account the flammability of the structure as affected by building material, building standards, location, and type of vegetation. Fuels shall be maintained in a condition so that a wildfire burning under average weather conditions would be unlikely to ignite the structure. This subparagraph does not apply to single specimens of trees or other vegetation that are well-pruned and maintained so as to effectively manage fuels and not form a means of rapidly transmitting fire from other nearby vegetation to a structure or from a structure to other nearby vegetation. The intensity of fuels management may vary within the 100-foot perimeter of the structure, with more intense fuel reductions being utilized between 5 and 30 feet around the structure, and a noncombustible zone being required within 5 feet of the structure. Consistent with fuels management objectives, steps should be taken to minimize erosion. For the purposes of this subparagraph, “fuel” means any combustible material, including petroleum-based products and wildland fuels.
(B) A greater distance than that required under subparagraph (A) may be required by state law, local ordinance, rule, or regulation. Clearance beyond the property line may only be required if the state law, local ordinance, rule, or regulation includes findings that the clearing is necessary to significantly reduce the risk of transmission of flame or heat sufficient to ignite the structure, and there is no other feasible mitigation measure possible to reduce the risk of ignition or spread of wildfire to the structure. Clearance on adjacent property shall only be conducted following written consent by the adjacent landowner.
(C) An insurance company that insures an occupied dwelling or occupied structure may require a greater distance than that required under subparagraph (A) if a fire expert, designated by the director, provides findings that the clearing is necessary to significantly reduce the risk of transmission of flame or heat sufficient to ignite the structure, and there is no other feasible mitigation measure possible to reduce the risk of ignition or spread of wildfire to the structure. The greater distance may not be beyond the property line unless allowed by state law, local ordinance, rule, or regulation.
(2) Remove that portion of a tree that extends within 10 feet of the outlet of a chimney or stovepipe.
(3) Maintain a tree, shrub, or other plant adjacent to or overhanging a building free of dead or dying wood.
(4) Maintain the roof of a structure free of leaves, needles, or other vegetative materials.
(5) Before constructing a new building or structure or rebuilding a building or structure damaged by a fire in an area subject to this section, the construction or rebuilding of which requires a building permit, the owner shall obtain a certification from the local building official that the dwelling or structure, as proposed to be built, complies with all applicable state and local building standards, including those described in subdivision (b) of Section 51189 of the Government Code, and shall provide a copy of the certification, upon request, to the insurer providing course of construction insurance coverage for the building or structure. Upon completion of the construction or rebuilding, the owner shall obtain from the local building official, a copy of the final inspection report that demonstrates that the dwelling or structure was constructed in compliance with all applicable state and local building standards, including those described in subdivision (b) of Section 51189 of the Government Code, and shall provide a copy of the report, upon request, to the property insurance carrier that insures the dwelling or structure.
(b) A person is not required under this section to manage fuels on land if that person does not have the legal right to manage fuels, nor is a person required to enter upon or to alter property that is owned by any other person without the consent of the owner of the property.
(c) (1) Except as provided in Section 18930 of the Health and Safety Code, the director may adopt regulations exempting a structure with an exterior constructed entirely of nonflammable materials, or, conditioned upon the contents and composition of the structure, the director may vary the requirements respecting the removing or clearing away of flammable vegetation or other combustible growth with respect to the area surrounding those structures.
(2) An exemption or variance under paragraph (1) shall not apply unless and until the occupant of the structure, or if there is not an occupant, the owner of the structure, files with the department, in a form as the director shall prescribe, a written consent to the inspection of the interior and contents of the structure to ascertain whether this section and the regulations adopted under this section are complied with at all times.
(d) (1) The director may authorize the removal of vegetation that is not consistent with the standards of this section. The director may prescribe a procedure for the removal of that vegetation and make the expense a lien upon the building, structure, or grounds, in the same manner that is applicable to a legislative body under Section 51186 of the Government Code.
(2) The director shall, where necessary and feasible, use members of the California Conservation Corps, a local conservation corps, a resource conservation district, fire safe councils, or other entities deemed appropriate by the director to remove vegetation that is not consistent with the standards of this section pursuant to paragraph (1).
(e) (1) The department shall develop, periodically update, and post on its internet website a guidance document on fuels management pursuant to this chapter. Guidance shall include, but not be limited to, regionally appropriate vegetation management suggestions that preserve and restore native species that are fire resistant or drought tolerant, or both, minimize erosion, minimize water consumption, and permit trees near homes for shade, aesthetics, and habitat; and suggestions to minimize or eliminate the risk of flammability of nonvegetative sources of combustion such as woodpiles, propane tanks, decks, and outdoor lawn furniture.
(2) On or before January 1, 2022, the department shall update the guidance document to include suggestions for creating a noncombustible zone within five feet of a structure.
(f) The department shall do all of the following:
(1) Commencing January 1, 2021, ensure the inspection of each known structure within a state responsibility area at least once every three years.
(2) Periodically review and provide spot checks of compliance with defensible space requirements in areas where contract counties enforce this section.
(3) Provide biennial training at each of the department’s units for applicable local officials on defensible space inspections.
(4) Take all feasible steps to improve compliance with this section.
(5) Identify the types of vegetation or fuel that are to be excluded from a noncombustible zone based on the probability that vegetation and fuel will lead to ignition of a structure as a part of the update to the guidance document pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(6) (A) Make reasonable efforts to provide notice to affected residents describing the requirements added by the amendments to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) made in Assembly Bill 1516 of the 2019–20 Regular Session before the imposition of penalties for violating those requirements.
(B) (i) The requirement for a noncombustible zone pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall not take effect for new structures until the department updates the guidance document pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(ii) The requirement for a noncombustible zone pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall take effect for existing structures one year after the effective date for new structures.
(g) As used in this section, “person” means a private individual, organization, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation.

SEC. 5.Section 4291.2 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
4291.2.

(a)In addition to any other penalties imposed pursuant to this chapter or local ordinance, a person, including a landowner, who is determined to be in violation of Section 4291 is subject to an administrative civil penalty that may be imposed by the department in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) or the cost to perform or contract for the work necessary to comply with Section 4291, whichever is greater.

(b)In determining the amount of an administrative civil penalty issued pursuant to this section, the department shall take into account mitigating factors, including the violator’s ability to pay.

(c)A person shall not be subject to both an administrative civil penalty imposed under this section and monetary civil liability imposed by a superior court in an action by the department for the same act or failure to act. If a person who is assessed a penalty under this section continues to fail to comply with Section 4291, the department may perform or contract for the work necessary to comply with Section 4291 and recover the costs through the imposition of an administrative civil penalty pursuant to this section.

(d)If a person fails to pay an administrative civil penalty imposed by the department pursuant to this section, the department may record a lien on the property in the amount of the penalty assessed by the department. Upon recordation, the lien shall have the force, effect, and priority of a judgment lien.

(e)In enacting this section, it is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that unintentional, minor violations of Section 4291 will not lead to the imposition of administrative civil penalties if the violator has acted expeditiously to correct the violation.

(f)(1)There is hereby established in the State Treasury the Defensible Space Penalty Fund.

(2)Administrative civil penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Defensible Space Penalty Fund and, upon appropriation by the Legislature, shall be expended on fire prevention work conducted by the department.

(g)This section does not preempt any local ordinance.

SEC. 6.SEC. 8.

 Section 4295.6 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

4295.6.
 (a) On or after January 31, 2021, landowners shall not plant vegetation, or fail to remove volunteer vegetation, vegetation near electrical transmission and distribution lines and towers that can encroach within 10 feet of overhead conductors at any time.
(b) (1) On or before January 31, 2021, the department and the Public Utilities Commission, in consultation with any person who owns, controls, operates, or maintains any electrical transmission or distribution lines, shall develop a guidebook of tree and shrub species that, if planted in the vicinity of electrical transmission and distribution lines, cannot encroach within 10 feet of overhead conductors at any time. The guidebook shall also contain recommended native vegetation to plant in the vicinity of electrical transmission and distribution lines and towers that provides habitat benefits. The department and the Public Utilities Commission may use outside expertise, including, but not limited to, existing tree selection guides, when developing the guidebook.
(2) (A) The department and the Public Utilities Commission shall make available on their respective internet websites the guidebook described in paragraph (1).
(B) An electrical corporation, as defined pursuant to Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code, and a local publicly owned electric utility, as defined pursuant to Section 224.3 of the Public Utilities Code, shall make available on their respective internet websites the guidebook described in paragraph (1). A violation of this subparagraph by an electrical corporation or a local publicly owned electric utility shall not be subject to Section 4021.
(3) On or after January 31, 2021, landowners shall not plant tree species in the vicinity of electrical transmission and distribution lines that have not been identified in, or in a location that would be inconsistent with, the provisions of the guidebook created pursuant to paragraph (1).
(c) (1) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or maintains any electrical transmission or distribution line, the Public Utilities Commission, or the department, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard to the landowner, shall be is authorized to access properties in which vegetation has been planted, or volunteer vegetation has not been removed, planted in violation of this section for purposes of removing that vegetation at the landowner’s expense.
(2) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or maintains any electrical transmission or distribution line, the Public Utilities Commission, or the department, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard to the landowner, is authorized to access properties in which volunteer vegetation will encroach within 10 feet of overhead conductors for purposes of removing the vegetation. For purposes of this paragraph, “volunteer vegetation” means vegetation that grows on its own rather than being deliberately planted.
(d) This section applies in both of the following areas:
(1) A high fire threat district, as determined by the Public Utilities Commission.
(2) A state responsibility area.

SEC. 7.SEC. 9.

 Section 4740 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4740.
 The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The department has extensive technical expertise in wildland fire prevention and vegetation management on forest, range, and watershed lands. When appropriately applied, this expertise can have significant public resource benefits, including decreasing high intensity wildland fires, improving watershed management, range improvement, improving vegetation management, forest improvement, wildlife habitat improvement, restoring ecological integrity and resilience, improving community wildfire protection, improving carbon resilience, providing enhancement of culturally important resources, and maintenance of air quality.
(b) Because of the scope of the problem of high intensity wildland fires and expertise of the department, local governments, including cities, counties, special districts, and water and electrical utilities, need assistance in preventing future problems resulting from inadequate fire prevention planning and vegetation management.
(c) California will benefit if existing state expertise is made available to local governments, including cities, counties, special districts, and water and electrical utilities, thereby integrating those efforts.

SEC. 8.SEC. 10.

 Section 4741 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4741.
 (a) In accordance with policies established by the board, the department shall assist local governments in preventing future high intensity wildland fires and instituting appropriate fuels management by making its wildland fire prevention and vegetation management expertise and dedicated fuels reduction crews available to local governments to the extent possible within the department’s budgetary limitations.
(b) Any department recommendations made pursuant to this article shall be advisory in nature and local governments shall not be required to follow those recommendations.
(c) This section does not alter the existing obligations of a local government or affect the existing liability of a local government.
(d) The department may establish a cost-share or in-kind contribution requirement for any fuel reduction work conducted pursuant to this article.
(e) The department shall explore opportunities to use its dedicated fuel reduction crews for areas in proximity to common ignition sources, including, but not limited to, roadways, electrical infrastructure, and campgrounds.
(f) For purposes of this section, “local governments” include cities, counties, special districts, and water and electrical utilities.

SEC. 9.SEC. 11.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.