Code Section

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 12. FIRES AND FIRE PROTECTION [13000 - 14959]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )
  

PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS [13000 - 13083]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )
  

CHAPTER 1. Liability in Relation to Fires [13000 - 13011]
  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

  
13009.  

(a)  Any person (1) who negligently, or in violation of the law, sets a fire, allows a fire to be set, or allows a fire kindled or attended by him or her to escape onto any public or private property, (2) other than a mortgagee, who, being in actual possession of a structure, fails or refuses to correct, within the time allotted for correction, despite having the right to do so, a fire hazard prohibited by law, for which a public agency properly has issued a notice of violation respecting the hazard, or (3) including a mortgagee, who, having an obligation under other provisions of law to correct a fire hazard prohibited by law, for which a public agency has properly issued a notice of violation respecting the hazard, fails or refuses to correct the hazard within the time allotted for correction, despite having the right to do so, is liable for the fire suppression costs incurred in fighting the fire and for the cost of providing rescue or emergency medical services, and those costs shall be a charge against that person. The charge shall constitute a debt of that person, and is collectible by the person, or by the federal, state, county, public, or private agency, incurring those costs in the same manner as in the case of an obligation under a contract, expressed or implied.

(b)  Public agencies participating in fire suppression, rescue, or emergency medical services as set forth in subdivision (a), may designate one or more of the participating agencies to bring an action to recover costs incurred by all of the participating agencies. An agency designated by the other participating agencies to bring an action pursuant to this section shall declare that authorization and its basis in the complaint, and shall itemize in the complaint the total amounts claimed under this section by each represented agency.

(c)  Any costs incurred by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in suppressing any wildland fire originating or spreading from a prescribed burning operation conducted by the department pursuant to a contract entered into pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 4475) of Chapter 7 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code shall not be collectible from any party to the contract, including any private consultant or contractor who entered into an agreement with that party pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 4475.5 of the Public Resources Code, as provided in subdivision (a), to the extent that those costs were not incurred as a result of a violation of any provision of the contract.

(d)  This section applies to all areas of the state, regardless of whether primarily wildlands, sparsely developed, or urban.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 444, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)