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AB-2091 Fire prevention: prescribed burns.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/16/2018 09:00 PM
AB2091:v97#DOCUMENT

Corrected  April 24, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 12, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2091


Introduced by Assembly Member Grayson

February 07, 2018


An act to amend Sections 730, 731, and 4002 of, to add Section 742 to, and to add Article 4 (commencing with Section 4500) to Chapter 7 of Part 2 of Division 4 of, the Public Resources Code, relating to fire prevention.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2091, as amended, Grayson. Fire prevention: prescribed burns.
(1) Existing law establishes in the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection consisting of 9 members appointed, selected, and approved for appointment on the basis of their educational and professional qualifications and their general knowledge of, interest in, and experience with, among other things, forest management practices.
This bill would rename the board to the State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection. The bill would additionally require members to have general knowledge of, interest in, and experience with fire prevention. The bill would require at least one member to be selected with a background and understanding of fire prevention, including prescribed fire. The bill would require the board to appoint a prescribed fire advisory committee, as provided, and would require the board to consult with the advisory committee to consult with the board on development of training, certification, and recertification of prescribed burn managers and organizations prescribed fire issues under consideration by the board, including the development of a certificate of specialization, as provided.
(2) Existing law authorizes a person, firm, or corporation, or a group or combination of persons, firms, corporations, or groups, that owns or controls brush-covered land, forest lands, woodland, grassland, shrubland, or any combination thereof within a state responsibility area to apply to the department for permission to utilize a prescribed burning for specified public purposes.
This bill would require the State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection to establish, accomplish, on or before January 1, 2022, standards for prescribed burning, and establish standards for certification, recertification, and training for certified prescribed burn managers, among other things. The bill would require the board to establish a schedule of fees for purposes of certifying a prescribed burn manager and would establish the Prescribed Burn Fund for deposit of those fees. The bill would authorize the board to spend the money in the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for purposes of administering the certification program. July 1, 2020, the establishment of a certificate of specialization, as specified, or the acceptance of a public agency’s independent certification program for prescribed burning management or fire bosses as full qualification, as specified, or both. The bill would require the department to develop and implement an insurance pool for certified prescribed burn managers, as provided.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 730 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

730.
 (a) There is in the department a State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection consisting of nine members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate.
(b) (1) On and after January 1, 1998, wherever any reference is made in any law to the State Board of Forestry in the department, the reference shall be deemed to be a reference to, and to mean, the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.
(2) On and after January 1, 2019, wherever any reference is made in any law to the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection in the department, the reference shall be deemed to be a reference to, and to mean, the State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection.
(3) No existing supplies, forms, signs, or logos shall be destroyed or changed to reflect the name change, and they shall continue to be used until exhausted or unserviceable.

SEC. 2.

 Section 731 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

731.
 All members of the board shall be appointed and shall be selected and approved for appointment on the basis of their educational and professional qualifications and their general knowledge of, interest in, and experience with, problems relating to watershed management, including hydrology and soil science, forest management practices, fish and wildlife, range management, forest economics, fire prevention, or land use planning. Five members shall be selected from the general public, three members shall be selected from the forest products industry, and one member shall be selected from the range livestock industry. At least one member shall be selected with a background and understanding of fire prevention, including prescribed fire. At no time shall a majority of the members, nor any of the members selected from the general public, be persons with a direct personal financial interest, within the meaning of Section 87100 of the Government Code, in timberlands. All members of the board shall represent the general public interest.

SEC. 3.

 Section 742 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

742.
 (a) The board shall appoint a Prescribed Fire Advisory Committee and Committee. The committee shall consult with the advisory committee on development of training, certification, and recertification of prescribed burn managers and organizations board on prescribed fire issues under consideration by the board, including the development of a certificate of specialization pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 4500) of Chapter 7 of Part 2 of Division 4.
(b) The advisory committee shall consist of 10 members, who shall be selected as follows:
(1) The member of the board who has a background and understanding of fire prevention, including prescribed fire, described in Section 731.
(2) The director or his or her designee.
(3) A federal forest land manager.
(4) A representative of a local air district.
(5) Two representatives from the general public with experience conducting prescribed burns.
(6) Two representatives from the University of California Cooperative Extension.
(7) Two representatives from tribal communities with experience conducting prescribed burns.
(c) The chair of the board shall appoint the members of the advisory committee designated in paragraphs (3) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (b). The members shall serve at the pleasure of their respective appointing powers.
(d) The members shall serve without compensation, except that each member shall be reimbursed for his or her actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties.
(e) The chair of the advisory committee shall be the person identified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).

SEC. 4.

 Section 4002 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4002.
 “Board” means the State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection.

SEC. 5.

 Article 4 (commencing with Section 4500) is added to Chapter 7 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  4. Prescribed Burns

4500.
 On or before January 1, 2022, July 1, 2020, the board shall accomplish all either or both of the following:

(a)Establish standards for prescribed burning, pursuant to Section 4501.

(b)Develop a comprehensive training curriculum for certified prescribed burn managers and prescribed burning organizations.

(c)Establish standards for certification, recertification, and training for certified prescribed burn managers.

(d)Establish minimum education and professional requirements for instructors for the approved curriculum.

(a) Establish a certificate of specialization in the field of prescribed burning management and operations, pursuant to Section 762.
(b) Accept a public agency’s independent certification program for prescribed burning management or fire bosses as full qualification if the board determines the program fully protects the public interest in that area, pursuant to Section 772.

4501.
 Minimum prescribed burn standards established by the board pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4500 shall accomplish For any certificate of specialization established pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4500, the board shall consider all of the following:

(a)Ensure that prescribed burning is the controlled application of fire to naturally occurring or naturalized vegetative fuels under specified environmental conditions in accordance with a written prescription plan that satisfies both of the following:

(1)Is designed

(a) Federal systems of federal wildland fire qualifications.
(b) Best practices for developing a written prescription plan, including the ability to be designed to confine the fire to a predetermined area and to accomplish planned land management objectives.

(2)Conforms to the standards established pursuant to this section.

(b)Require

(c) A requirement that at least one certified prescribed burn manager is present on site during the conduct of the prescribed burn and that the burn is conducted by members of a prescribed burning organization.

(c)Establish appropriate

(d) Appropriate guidelines for the size of burning crews sufficient to do both of the following:
(1) Conduct the burn in accordance with the prescription plan.
(2) Provide adequate protection for the safety of persons and adjacent property.

(d)Include standards

(e) Standards for notification to adjacent landowners, the department, and local fire authorities.
(f) Other relevant best practices.

4502.

(a)Minimum standards established by the board for certification as a certified prescribed burn manager shall require the completion of the approved training curriculum to be developed and promulgated by the board and taught by an approved instructor.

(b)The board shall certify a person as a certified prescribed burn manager if the person meets all of the following:

(1)Applies to the board for certification.

(2)Completes an approved training program by an approved instructor.

(3)Pays a reasonable fee to the board in an amount determined by the board pursuant to Section 4502.5.

(c)The certification shall be for two years.

(d)A person may renew certification only by completing a continuing education program established by the board.

(e)The board shall maintain a register of certified prescribed burn managers and dates of completion of initial and continuing training.

4502.5.

(a)The board shall establish a schedule of fees for purposes of this article to be assessed on persons seeking certification as a certified prescribed burn manager.

(b)The fees charged, in the aggregate, shall not exceed the reasonable cost to the board of administrating the certification program.

(c)All fees collected by the board shall be deposited in Prescribed Burn Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. Money in the fund may be expended by the board, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for purposes of administering the certification program pursuant to this article.

4503.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2020, the department shall develop and implement an insurance pool for prescribed burn managers certified with a certificate of specialization pursuant to Section 4502. 4500 or any other certification determined adequate by the department.
(b) The insurance pool shall be available only to prescribed burn managers certified pursuant to Section 4502 4500.
(c) The goal of the insurance pool shall be to accomplish all of the following:
(1) Increase the use of prescribed fire.
(2) Reduce the cost of insurance for certified prescribed burn managers and landowners.
(3) Provide adequate liability protection for lives and property when conducting prescribed burns.

4504.
 This article does not restrict a landowner’s ability to obtain a burn permit from the department or the State Air Resources Board.

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CORRECTIONS:
Text—Page 5.
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