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PRC 4291 is code cited for Cal Fire inspection mandate.
PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE SECTION 4291-4299
4291. A person that owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains a building or structure in, upon, or adjoining any mountainous area, forest-covered lands, brush-covered lands, grass-covered lands, or any land that is covered with flammable material, shall at all times do all of the following:
(a) Maintain around and adjacent to the building or structure a firebreak made by removing and clearing away, for a distance of not less than 30 feet on each side of the building or structure or to the property line, whichever is nearer, all flammable vegetation or other combustible growth. This subdivision does not apply to single specimens of trees or other vegetation that is well-pruned and maintained so as to effectively manage fuels and not form a means of rapidly transmitting fire from other nearby vegetation to any building or structure.
(b) Maintain around and adjacent to the building or structure additional fire protection or firebreak made by removing all brush, flammable vegetation, or combustible growth that is located within 100 feet from the building or structure or to the property line or at a greater distance if required by state law, or local ordinance, rule, or regulation. This section does not prevent an insurance company that insures a building or structure from requiring the owner of the building or structure to maintain a firebreak of more than 100 feet around the building or structure. Grass and other vegetation located more than 30 feet from the building or structure and less than 18 inches in height above the ground may be maintained where necessary to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. This subdivision does not apply to single specimens of trees or other vegetation that is 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 dwelling or structure.
(c) Remove that portion of any tree that extends within 10 feet of the outlet of a chimney or stovepipe.
(d) Maintain any tree adjacent to or overhanging a building free of dead or dying wood.
(e) Maintain the roof of a structure free of leaves, needles, or other dead vegetative growth.
(f) Prior to constructing a new building or structure or rebuilding a building or structure damaged by a fire in such an area, 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.
(g) Except as provided in Section 18930 of the Health and Safety Code, the director may adopt regulations exempting structures with exteriors constructed entirely of nonflammable materials, or conditioned upon the contents and composition of same, he or she 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.
No exemption or variance shall apply unless and until the occupant thereof, or if there is not an occupant, the owner thereof, 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.
(h) 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.
(i) As used in this section, "person" means a private individual,organization, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation.
4291.1. (a) Notwithstanding Section 4021, a violation of Section 4291 is an infraction punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).
If a person is convicted of a second violation of Section 4291 within five years, that person shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).
If a person is convicted of a third violation of Section 4291 within five years, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500).
If a person is convicted of a third violation of Section 4291 within five years, the department may perform or contract for the performance of work necessary to comply with Section 4291 and may bill the person convicted for the costs incurred, in which case the person convicted, upon payment of those costs, shall not be required to pay the fine.
If a person convicted of a violation of Section 4291 is granted probation, the court shall impose as a term or condition of probation, in addition to any other term or condition of probation, that the person pay at least the minimum fine prescribed in this section.
(b) If a person convicted of a violation of Section 4291 produces in court verification prior to imposition of a fine by the court, that the condition resulting in the citation no longer exists, the court may reduce the fine imposed for the violation of Section 4291 to fifty dollars ($50).
4291.3. Subject to any other applicable provision of law, a state or local fire official, at his or her discretion, may authorize an owner of property, or his or her agent, to construct a firebreak, or implement appropriate vegetation management techniques, to ensure that defensible space is adequate for the protection of a hospital, adult residential care facility, school, aboveground storage tank, hazardous materials facility, or similar facility on the property. The firebreak may be for a radius of up to 300 feet from the facility, or to the property line, whichever distance is shorter.
4292. Except as otherwise provided in Section 4296, any person that owns, controls, operates, or maintains any electrical transmission or distribution line upon any mountainous land, or forest-covered land, brush-covered land, or grass-covered land shall, during such times and in such areas as are determined to be necessary by the director or the agency which has primary responsibility for fire protection of such areas, maintain around and adjacent to any pole or tower which supports a switch, fuse, transformer, lightning arrester, line junction, or dead end or corner pole, a firebreak which consists of a clearing of not less than 10 feet in each direction from the outer circumference of such pole or tower. This section does not, however, apply to any line which is used exclusively as telephone, telegraph, telephone or telegraph messenger call, fire or alarm line, or other line which is classed as a communication circuit by the Public Utilities Commission. The director or the agency which has primary fire protection responsibility for the protection of such areas may permit exceptions from the requirements of this section which are based upon the specific circumstances involved.
4293. Except as otherwise provided in Sections 4294 to 4296, inclusive, any person that owns, controls, operates, or maintains any electrical transmission or distribution line upon any mountainous land, or in forest-covered land, brush-covered land, or grass-covered land shall, during such times and in such areas as are determined to be necessary by the director or the agency which has primary responsibility for the fire protection of such areas, maintain a clearance of the respective distances which are specified in this section in all directions between all vegetation and all conductors which are carrying electric current:
(a) For any line which is operating at 2,400 or more volts, but less than 72,000 volts, four feet.
(b) For any line which is operating at 72,000 or more volts, but less than 110,000 volts, six feet.
(c) For any line which is operating at 110,000 or more volts, 10feet. In every case, such distance shall be sufficiently great to furnish the required clearance at any position of the wire, or conductor when the adjacent air temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or less. Dead trees, old decadent or rotten trees, trees weakened by decay or disease and trees or portions thereof that are leaning toward the line which may contact the line from the side or may fall on the line shall be felled, cut, or trimmed so as to remove such hazard. The director or the agency which has primary responsibility for the fire protection of such areas may permit exceptions from the requirements of this section which are based upon the specific circumstances involved.
4294. A clearing to obtain line clearance is not required if self-supporting aerial cable is used. Forked trees, leaning trees, and any other growth which may fall across the line and break it shall, however, be removed.
4295. A person is not required by Section 4292 or 4293 to maintain any clearing on any land if such person does not have the legal right to maintain such clearing, nor do such sections require any person to enter upon or to damage property which is owned by any other person without the consent of the owner of the property.
4296. Sections 4292 and 4293 do not apply if the transmission or distribution line voltage is 750 volts or less.
4296.5. (a) Any person or corporation operating a railroad on forest, brush, or grass-covered land shall, if ordered by the director or the agency having primary responsibility for fire protection of the area, destroy, remove, or modify so as not to be flammable any vegetation or other flammable material defined by regulation of the director to be a fire hazard on the railroad right-of-way. The director shall adopt regulations establishing fire prevention hazard reduction standards for broad geographic areas by fuel type, slope, and potential for ignition from hot or flaming exhaust, carbon particles, hot metal, burning signal devices, burning tobacco, and other similar potential sources of ignition.
(b) The order to destroy, remove, or modify vegetation or other flammable material shall specify the location of the hazard to be destroyed, removed, or modified within the right-of-way, the width of the hazard which shall not exceed the width of the right-of-way, and the time within which compliance with the order is required.
(c) The director or the agency having primary responsibility for fire protection of the area shall allow a reasonable period of time for compliance with an order to destroy, remove, or modify vegetation or other flammable material.
4297. Upon the showing of the director that the unrestricted use of any grass-covered land, grain-covered land, brush-covered land, or forest-covered land is, in the judgment of the director, a menace to life or property due to conditions tending to cause or allow the rapid spread of fires which may occur on such lands or because of the inaccessible character of such lands, the Governor through the director, may, by a proclamation, which declares such condition and designates the area to which, and the period during which the proclamation shall apply, require that such area be closed to hunting and fishing and to entry by any person except a person that is within one of the following classes:
(a) Owners and lessees of land in the area.
(b) Bona fide residents in the area.
(c) Persons engaged in some bona fide business, trade, occupation, or calling in the area and persons employed by them in connection with such business, trade, occupation, or calling.
(d) Authorized agents or employees of a public utility entering such area for the purpose of operating or maintaining public utility works or equipment within the area.
(e) Members of any organized firefighting force.
(f) Any federal, state or local officer in the performance of his duties.
(g) Persons traveling on public roads or highways through the area.
4298. The proclamation by the Governor shall be released to the wire news services in the state, and shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in each county which contains any lands covered by the proclamation. Notice of closure shall also be posted on trails or roads entering the area covered by the proclamation. The closure shall be effective upon issuance of the proclamation by the Governor. Each notice shall clearly set forth the area to be subject to closure and the effective date of such closure. The closure shall remain in full force and effect until the Governor shall by order terminate it. The notice of such termination shall follow the same procedure by which such closure was effected. The order of termination shall be effected upon issuance.
4299. A person who violates Section 4297 or 4298 is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 10 days nor more than 90 days or both the fine and imprisonment. All state and county law enforcement officers shall enforce orders of closure.