Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 4. FORESTS, FORESTRY AND RANGE AND FORAGE LANDS [4001 - 4958]

  ( Division 4 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

PART 2. PROTECTION OF FOREST, RANGE AND FORAGE LANDS [4101 - 4789.7]

  ( Part 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

CHAPTER 6. Prohibited Activities [4411 - 4446]

  ( Chapter 6 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

ARTICLE 2. Prohibited Activities [4421 - 4446]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

4421.
  

A person shall not set fire or cause fire to be set to any forest, brush, or other flammable material which is on any land that is not his own, or under his legal control, without the permission of the owner, lessee, or agent of the owner or lessee of the land.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

4422.
  

A person shall not do any of the following:

(a) Willfully or knowingly allow fire to burn uncontrolled on land which he owns or controls, or to escape to the lands of any person other than that of the owner.

(b) Allow any fire kindled or attended by him to escape from his control or to spread to the land of any person other than from the land from which the fire originated.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

4423.
  

A person shall not burn any brush, stumps, logs, fallen timber, fallows, slash, grass-covered land, brush-covered land, forest-covered land, or other flammable material, in any state responsibility area, area receiving fire protection by the department by contract, or upon federal lands administered by the United States Department of Agriculture or Department of the Interior, unless the person has a written permit from the department or its duly authorized representative or the authorized federal officer on federal lands administered by the United States Department of Agriculture or of the Interior and in strict accordance with the terms of the permit:

(a) At any time in Zone A.

(b) At any time in Zone B between May 1st and the date the director declares, by proclamation, that the hazardous fire conditions have abated for that year, or at any other time in Zone B during any year when the director has declared, by proclamation, that unusual fire hazard conditions exist in the area.

The issuing agency may require the permittee to contact the agency to determine permit suspension status prior to burning.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 270, Sec. 4.)

4423.1.
  

Burning under permit by any person on public or private lands, except within incorporated cities, may be suspended, restricted, or otherwise prohibited by proclamation. Any of the following public officers may issue a proclamation, which shall be applicable within their respective jurisdictions:

(a) The director or his or her designee.

(b) Any county fire warden with the approval of the director.

(c) The federal officers directing activities within California of the United States Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the United States Forest Service.

The proclamation may be issued when, in the judgment of the issuing public official, the menace of destruction by fire to life, improved property, or natural resources is, or is forecast to become, extreme due to critical fire weather, fire suppression forces being heavily committed to control fires already burning, acute dryness of the vegetation, or other factors that may cause the rapid spread of fire. A proclamation is effective on issuance or at a time specified therein and shall remain in effect until a proclamation removing the suspension, restriction, or prohibition is issued. The proclamation may be effective for a single day or longer. The proclamation shall declare the conditions that necessitate its issuance, designate the geographic area to which it applies, require that all or specified burning under permit be suspended, restricted, or prohibited until the conditions necessitating the proclamation abate, and identify the public official issuing the proclamation. The proclamation may be in the form of a verbal or audio recorded telephone message, a press release, or a posted order.

The proclamation may be issued without complying with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 88, Sec. 75. (AB 176) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4423.2.
  

(a) Whenever the burning under permit has been suspended , restricted, or prohibited by proclamation pursuant to Section 4423.1, the officer having jurisdiction may issue a restricted temporary burning permit in instances in which the continuation of burning may be essential for reasons of public health, safety, or welfare. The permit may stipulate any special precautions that are required to be followed to reduce the risk of uncontrolled fire originating from the operation.

(b)  Violation of the terms of a restricted temporary burning permit is a misdemeanor, and any person upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250). No part of the fine shall be suspended. The court may permit the fine prescribed by this section to be paid in installments if the court determines that the defendant is unable to pay the fine in one lump sum.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 270, Sec. 6.)

4423.3.
  

The use of a campfire is not restricted or prohibited by a proclamation issued pursuant to Section 4423.1, unless specifically restricted or prohibited in that or a subsequent proclamation. If restricted by proclamation, campfires shall be confined to facilities constructed for that purpose within the confines of a campground established, maintained, and open for public use, whether publicly or privately owned.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 270, Sec. 7.)

4423.4.
  

Outdoor smoking is not restricted or prohibited by a proclamation issued pursuant to Section 4423.1, unless specifically restricted or prohibited in that or a subsequent proclamation. If restricted by proclamation, smoking shall be confined to the following:

(a) Within motor vehicles while operating or parked on established roads, rest stops, or parking areas cleared of flammable vegetation.

(b) Within established campgrounds open to the public.

(c) Within an area that is at least three feet or approximately one meter in diameter which has been cleared to mineral soil by removal of all flammable vegetation and duff.

The exempted locations may be included within the smoking ban if specifically noticed in the proclamation.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 270, Sec. 8.)

4423.5.
  

Use of open fire or burning under permit within an area closed by proclamation pursuant to the provisions of Section 4423.1, except as provided in Sections 4423.2, 4423.3, and 4423.4, is a misdemeanor and any person upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100). No part of such fine shall be suspended. The court may permit the fine prescribed by this section to be paid in installments if the court determines that the defendant is unable to pay the fine in one lump sum.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1074.)

4425.
  

Any violation of the terms of a burning permit issued pursuant to Section 4423, a restricted temporary burning permit issued pursuant to Section 4423.2, or a campfire permit issued pursuant to Section 4433 renders the permit null and void.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1074.)

4426.
  

A person shall not set a backfire, or cause a backfire to be set, except under the direct supervision or permission of a state or federal forest officer, unless it can be established that the setting of such backfire was necessary for the purpose of saving life or valuable property.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

4427.
  

During any time of the year when burning permits are required in an area pursuant to this article, no person shall use or operate any motor, engine, boiler, stationary equipment, welding equipment, cutting torches, tarpots, or grinding devices from which a spark, fire, or flame may originate, which is located on or near any forest-covered land, brush-covered land, or grass-covered land, without doing both of the following:

(a) First clearing away all flammable material, including snags, from the area around such operation for a distance of 10 feet.

(b) Maintain one serviceable round point shovel with an overall length of not less than forty-six (46) inches and one backpack pump water-type fire extinguisher fully equipped and ready for use at the immediate area during the operation.

This section does not apply to portable powersaws and other portable tools powered by a gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 900.)

4428.
  

No person, except any member of an emergency crew or except the driver or owner of any service vehicle owned or operated by or for, or operated under contract with, a publicly or privately owned utility, which is used in the construction, operation, removal, or repair of the property or facilities of such utility when engaged in emergency operations, shall use or operate any vehicle, machine, tool or equipment powered by an internal combustion engine operated on hydrocarbon fuels, in any industrial operation located on or near any forest, brush, or grass-covered land between April 1 and December 1 of any year, or at any other time when ground litter and vegetation will sustain combustion permitting the spread of fire, without providing and maintaining, for firefighting purposes only, suitable and serviceable tools in the amounts, manner and location prescribed in this section.

(a) On any such operation a sealed box of tools shall be located, within the operating area, at a point accessible in the event of fire. This fire toolbox shall contain: one backpack pump-type fire extinguisher filled with water, two axes, two McLeod fire tools, and a sufficient number of shovels so that each employee at the operation can be equipped to fight fire.

(b) One or more serviceable chainsaws of three and one-half or more horsepower with a cutting bar 20 inches in length or longer shall be immediately available within the operating area, or, in the alternative, a full set of timber-felling tools shall be located in the fire toolbox, including one crosscut falling saw six feet in length, one double-bit ax with a 36-inch handle, one sledge hammer or maul with a head weight of six, or more, pounds and handle length of 32 inches, or more, and not less than two falling wedges.

(c) Each rail speeder and passenger vehicle, used on such operation shall be equipped with one shovel and one ax, and any other vehicle used on the operation shall be equipped with one shovel. Each tractor used in such operation shall be equipped with one shovel.

(d) As used in this section:

(1) “Vehicle” means a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn over any land surface, excepting a device moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

(2) “Passenger vehicle” means a vehicle which is self-propelled and which is designed for carrying not more than 10 persons including the driver, and which is used or maintained for the transportation of persons, but does not include any motortruck or truck tractor.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 445.)

4429.
  

During any time of the year when burning permits are required in an area pursuant to this article, at any camp maintained in such area for the residence of employees, or at any local headquarters in such area of any industrial, agricultural, or other operations on or near any forest-covered land or brush-covered land, there shall be provided and maintained at all times, in a specific location, for firefighting purposes only, a sufficient supply of serviceable tools to equip 50 percent of the able-bodied, personnel, resident of such camp, or working out of such headquarters, for fighting fires. Among these tools shall be included shovels, axes, saws, backpack pumps, and scraping tools. With such tools there shall also be one serviceable headlight adaptable for attachment to at least one-half of the tractor-bulldozers used on the operation, and a sufficient number of canteens and flashlights to equip a third of the able-bodied personnel.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1171.)

4430.
  

During any time of the year when burning permits are required in an area pursuant to this article, a person, copartnership, firm, corporation or company, shall not use or operate in such area any steam-operated engine, machine equipment, mill or industrial plant, located on or near forest-covered land or brush-covered land, without providing one adequate force pump or water under pressure equivalent to a pump, and not less than 200 feet of hose not less than one inch in diameter for each steam-operated engine or equipment. The pump or water pressure required in this section shall be capable of applying a minimum of 40 pounds pressure at the nozzle on 200 feet of hose, such nozzle to be one-fourth inch or larger in diameter. If two steam-operated engines or steam equipment are customarily operated within 100 feet of each other, only one engine or piece of equipment need be equipped with pump and hose.

This section does not apply to any internal combustion engine or to any steam or other locomotive which is being used in the business of a common carrier by railroad.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

4431.
  

During any time of the year when burning permits are required in an area pursuant to this article, no person shall use or operate or cause to be operated in the area any portable saw, auger, drill, tamper, or other portable tool powered by a gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine on or near any forest-covered land, brush-covered land, or grass-covered land, within 25 feet of any flammable material, without providing and maintaining at the immediate locations of use or operation of the saw or tool, for firefighting purposes one serviceable round point shovel, with an overall length of not less than 46 inches, or one serviceable fire extinguisher. The Director of Forestry and Fire Protection shall by administrative regulation specify the type and size of fire extinguisher necessary to provide at least minimum assurance of controlling fire caused by use of portable power tools under various climatic and fuel conditions.

The required fire tools shall at no time be farther from the point of operation of the power saw or tool than 25 feet with unrestricted access for the operator from the point of operation.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 427, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1993.)

4432.
  

A person shall not leave a campfire, kindled or attended by him, burning or unextinguished unless one of the following requirements is satisfied:

(a) He leaves some person in attendance.

(b) The fire is enclosed within a stove, oven, drum, or other nonflammable container, in such manner that the fire cannot escape from the container.

No person shall allow a campfire, kindled or attended by him, to spread after it is built.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 698.)

4433.
  

A person shall not light, maintain, or use a campfire upon any brush-covered land, grass-covered land, or forest-covered land which is the property of another person unless he first obtains a written permit from the owner, lessee, or agent of the owner or lessee of the property.

If, however, campsites and special areas have been established by the property owner and posted as areas for camping, a permit is not necessary.

A written campfire permit duly issued by or under the authority of the United States Forest Service is necessary for use on land under the jurisdiction and control of the United States Forest Service.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

4434.
  

The escape of any campfire from the control of any person who is maintaining the campfire is prima facie evidence that such person was negligent in maintaining the campfire.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

4435.
  

If any fire originates from the operation or use of any engine, machine, barbecue, incinerator, railroad rolling stock, chimney, or any other device which may kindle a fire, the occurrence of the fire is prima facie evidence of negligence in the maintenance, operation, or use of such engine, machine, barbecue, incinerator, railroad rolling stock, chimney, or other device. If such fire escapes from the place where it originated and it can be determined which person’s negligence caused such fire, such person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

4436.
  

A person shall not refuse or fail to render assistance in combating a forest, brush, or grass fire at the summons of the department, or its authorized agent who is charged with the prevention or suppression of fire or the enforcement of the state fire laws, or any county firewarden, fireman, or county officer who is charged with the duty of preventing or combating forest, brush, or grass fires, or any officer of a county fire protection district, unless prevented from so doing by sickness or physical disability.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300.)

4437.
  

(a) Outside the exterior boundaries of cities, every processor of forest products shall exercise due diligence in the disposal of flammable material incident to the processing, so that the material does not cause the inception or spread of uncontrolled fire.

(b) Every person, copartnership, firm, corporation, or company that operates a sawmill or plant engaged in the processing or converting of forest products into lumber, shook, ties, poles, posts, veneer, shakes, shingles, and planed or milled products, shall dispose of flammable material incident to that operation. If such flammable material is not to be used as fuel, or as a byproduct, within the operation, it shall be disposed of by burning or by other alternative methods which effectively prevent the flammable material from constituting a fire hazard. The disposal or storage of flammable waste material or residue shall be made in any of the ways which are prescribed in Section 4438, 4439, or 4440.

(c) The director may establish regulations for the storage, disposal, or use of forest product waste or residue on land as a soil amendment or soil protection measure or for its disposal by fire. Regulations shall be adopted by the director in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code for the purpose of eliminating the potential of fire resulting from spontaneous combustion, other ignition sources, or wildfire escaping the forest product waste or residue storage, use, or disposal areas.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1333, Sec. 13.)

4438.
  

Flammable forest product waste material may be disposed of by means of fire in an enclosed device effective in preventing the spread of sparks or fire, situated in an area cleared of grass, grain, brush, slash, litter, and snags for a distance of 30.5 meters (100 feet) surrounding the device or by landfill or other methods which meet applicable state and local fire safety, air, and water quality standards.

A burning permit shall be obtained for the use of the device pursuant to Section 4423 and all other provisions of law.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1333, Sec. 14.)

4439.
  

(a) Flammable forest product waste material may be disposed of by means of fire in an area which is cleared of grass, grain, brush, slash, litter, snags and forest cover for a distance of 121.9 meters (400 feet) from the periphery of the fire and for any greater distance necessary to provide 30.5 meters (100 feet) of cleared area around any lumber pile or structure which may be situated within 121.9 meters (400 feet) of the fire.

(b) Sound and living trees beyond 30.5 meters (100 feet) from the periphery of the fire may be left standing within the area required to be cleared, provided the following requirements are met:

(1) Wildfire cannot travel into the canopy of any tree left standing.

(2) Any tree left standing does not pose a fire safety threat or prevent fire equipment access to and near the flammable forest waste material.

(3) All dead limbs, and all limbs within 3 meters (10 feet) of the ground are removed from any tree left standing.

(c) The disposal by fire in the cleared area is the responsibility of the operator or landowner, or of the operator and landowner, jointly, and shall be in conformance with Section 4423 and all other provisions of law.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1333, Sec. 15.)

4440.
  

(a) Flammable forest product residue may be accumulated in piles, within any state responsibility area, within any area receiving fire protection by the director by contract, or upon federal lands administered by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Department of Interior, when the area surrounding the piles is cleared and kept clear of all flammable vegetation and debris, including trees, snags, brush, grass, slash, and litter in accordance with one of the following procedures:

(1) Clearing to a distance of 45.7 meters (150 feet) from the periphery of the piles of flammable residue and all structures and lumber piles which are situated within 15.2 meters (50 feet) of the residue piles.

(2) Clearing to a distance of 30.5 meters (100 feet) from the periphery of the piles of flammable residue and all structures and lumber piles which are situated within 15.2 meters (50 feet) of the residue piles, and maintaining at all times a firebreak three meters (10 feet) or more in width cleared of all flammable material and constructed in a continuous line surrounding the accumulation at a distance of not less than 15.2 meters (50 feet) nor more than 91.4 meters (300 feet) from the periphery of the clearing surrounding the accumulation. All snags and dead trees between the firebreak and the periphery of the clearing shall be felled.

(3) Sound and living trees may be left standing within the areas required to be cleared of flammable residue, provided the following requirements are met:

(A) Wildfire cannot travel into the canopy of any tree left standing.

(B) Any tree left standing does not pose a fire safety threat or prevent fire equipment access to and near the flammable forest waste material.

(C) All dead limbs, and all limbs within 3 meters (10 feet) of the ground are removed from any tree left standing.

(D) Diseased or dead trees are removed entirely.

(b) Disposal by fire, if contemplated, is a responsibility of the operator or landowner or the operator and landowner, jointly, and shall be accomplished in conformance with Section 4423 and all other applicable provisions of law.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1333, Sec. 16.)

4441.
  

Any person who permits or allows accumulation of waste material or residue in violation of the provisions of Sections 4437 to 4440, inclusive, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished for a first conviction, by a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250), and, for a second or subsequent conviction within five years of a prior conviction of a violation of one of those provisions, by a fine not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 30 days, or both that fine and imprisonment. Each and every day of violation is a separate and distinct offense.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1333, Sec. 17.)

4442.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall use, operate, or allow to be used or operated, any internal combustion engine which uses hydrocarbon fuels on any forest-covered land, brush-covered land, or grass-covered land unless the engine is equipped with a spark arrester, as defined in subdivision (c), maintained in effective working order or the engine is constructed, equipped, and maintained for the prevention of fire pursuant to Section 4443.

(b) Spark arresters affixed to the exhaust system of engines or vehicles subject to this section shall not be placed or mounted in such a manner as to allow flames or heat from the exhaust system to ignite any flammable material.

(c) A spark arrester is a device constructed of nonflammable materials specifically for the purpose of removing and retaining carbon and other flammable particles over 0.0232 of an inch in size from the exhaust flow of an internal combustion engine that uses hydrocarbon fuels or which is qualified and rated by the United States Forest Service.

(d) Engines used to provide motive power for trucks, truck tractors, buses, and passenger vehicles, except motorcycles, are not subject to this section if the exhaust system is equipped with a muffler as defined in the Vehicle Code.

(e) Turbocharged engines are not subject to this section if all exhausted gases pass through the rotating turbine wheel, there is no exhaust bypass to the atmosphere, and the turbocharger is in effective mechanical condition.

(f) Motor vehicles when being operated in an organized racing or competitive event upon a closed course are not subject to this section if the event is conducted under the auspices of a recognized sanctioning body and by permit issued by the fire protection authority having jurisdiction.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1333, Sec. 18.)

4442.5.
  

No person shall sell, offer for sale, lease, or rent to any person any internal combustion engine subject to Section 4442 or 4443, and not subject to Section 13005 of the Health and Safety Code, unless the person provides a written notice to the purchaser or bailee, at the time of sale or at the time of entering into the lease or rental contract, stating that it is a violation of Section 4442 or 4443 to use or operate the engine on any forest-covered, brush-covered, or grass-covered land unless the engine is equipped with a spark arrester, as defined in Section 4442, maintained in effective working order or the engine is constructed, equipped, and maintained for the prevention of fire pursuant to Section 4443.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1333, Sec. 19.)

4442.6.
  

(a)  A person shall not sell, offer for sale, lease, or rent to a person any equipment that is powered by an internal combustion engine subject to Section 4442 or 4443, and not subject to Section 13005 of the Health and Safety Code, unless that equipment has a permanent warning label attached that is in plain view to the operator that states, “WARNING—Operation of This Equipment May Create Sparks That Can Start Fires Around Dry Vegetation. A Spark Arrestor May be Required. The Operator Should Contact Local Fire Agencies For Laws or Regulations Relating to Fire Prevention Requirements.”

(b) A person who manufacturers equipment that is powered by an internal combustion engine described in subdivision (a) shall attach to that equipment a permanent warning label that is in plain view to the operator and that complies with subdivision (a).

(c) Notwithstanding Section 4021, a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 278, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2006.)

4443.
  

No person shall use, operate, or cause to be operated on any forest-covered land, brush-covered land, or grass-covered land any handheld portable, multiposition, internal-combustion engine manufactured after June 30, 1978, which is operated on hydrocarbon fuels, unless it is constructed and equipped and maintained for the prevention of fire.

The board shall, by regulation, specify standards for construction, equipment, and maintenance of such engines for the prevention of fire and shall specify a uniform method of testing to be used by engine and equipment manufacturers, governmental agencies, and equipment users. The regulations shall include specification of exhaust system standards for carbon particle retention or destruction, exposed surface temperature, gas temperature, flammable debris accumulation, durability, and serviceability.

Portable power saw and other portable equipment described in this section which were manufactured prior to July 1, 1978, shall be subject to fire safety design specifications as prescribed by the board.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 949.)

4445.
  

A person shall not fire or cause to be fired from any rifle or other device capable of discharging ammunition, any bullet, projectile, or other ammunition which contains the components of thermite, magnesium, or aluminum, or any other component capable of causing a fire and commonly known as tracer or incendiary ammunition within any forest-covered area, brush-covered area, grass-covered area or grain-covered area.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

4446.
  

Every person shall exercise reasonable care in the disposal of flammable material so that the material does not cause the inception of or spread of uncontrolled fire. A person shall not burn any flammable material in any incinerator within any state responsibility area, within any area receiving fire protection by the director by contract, or upon federal lands administered by the United States Department of Agriculture or Department of the Interior, unless all of the following minimum requirements are complied with:

(a) The area within 10 feet of the exterior of the incinerator is maintained free and clear of all flammable material and vegetation.

(b) A screen constructed of a nonflammable material, with no greater than1/4-inch mesh, or metal doors, close or cover each opening in the exterior of an incinerator to prevent the escape of flames, sparks, ashes, or other burning material which might cause an uncontrolled fire.

(c) A permit is obtained prior to burning for the use of the incinerator pursuant to Section 4423 and all other applicable provisions of law.

This section does not apply to the disposal of flammable material incident to the processing of forest products.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 714, Sec. 352.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC2.