As the State’s Fire Prevention Fee continues to be implemented, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is providing property owners multiple resources to answer their questions about the fee. This outreach effort is being implemented as a result of Assembly Bill X1 29, which was signed into law July 7, 2011 establishing a fee for fire prevention services in the 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA).
The revenue generated from the fee pays for vital fire prevention services within the SRA. Fire prevention services funded by the fee include strategic fuel reduction activities, defensible space inspections, fire prevention engineering, emergency evacuation planning, fire prevention education, fire hazard severity mapping, implementation of the State’s and local Fire Plans (http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/fire_er/fpp_planning_cafireplan), and fire related law enforcement activities such as fire cause determination and arson investigation.
CAL FIRE has established a website, www.FirePreventionFee.org, which contains comprehensive information about the fee and helpful links to maps, the law language, and answers frequently asked questions. Additionally, a customer service call center is staffed Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays) to further aid homeowners that have questions about the Fire Prevention Fee. The call center number is 1-888-310-6447.
Under the law, the Board of Equalization (BOE) is responsible for collecting the fee. The bills scheduled for mailing this summer are for Fiscal Year 2012/13, which includes July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. The fee applies to the homeowner of record as of July 1, 2012, for all habitable structures within the SRA. The BOE began mailing the bills alphabetically by county on July 19, 2013.