Fire safety rules citations lag during California drought

Dec 30, 2015 1:28 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's firefighting agency has increased its warnings to thousands of property owners who aren't doing enough to protect their homes by clearing brush and other flammable materials.

But it rarely puts any muscle behind the threats.

Statistics requested by The Associated Press show the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection fined violators just 4 percent of the time in the last fiscal year. That's down from 10 percent when California's drought was declared four years ago.

The rate of homeowners disobeying the law also increased during that period. CalFire says inadequate protection led to the loss of homes this fall in a wildfire that burned through the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Fines start at $100 in rare cases where CalFire cites rural homeowners for failing to clear combustible materials near buildings.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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