2019 Wildfire Legislation

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Assembly Bill (AB) 38 (Wood) creates a new program that will direct state and federal money to modify buildings and manage vegetation around properties. 

Senate Bill (SB) 190 (Dodd) requires the State Fire Marshal to develop model “defensible space” guidelines that local governments can use to enforce rules on reducing flammable vegetation around at-risk homes.

SB 209 (Limón) creates a centralized state office for predicting and communicating wildfire weather threats to electric utilities, firefighters, and communities. 

SB 670 (McGuire) improves local emergency operations by requiring the Office of Emergency Services to share information about outages with 911 telephone services in threatened areas.

SB 632 (Galgiani) accelerates the approval of permits for fuel reduction to mitigate wildfire risk.

SB 70 (Nielsen) requires utilities to justify decisions not to bury power lines, which can reduce wildfire risk.

SB 247 (Dodd) subjects vegetation management activities required by utilities’ annual wildfire mitigation plans to increased oversight by the California Public Utilities Commission. 

And SB 167 (Dodd) requires those plans to also evaluate how power system shutdowns can affect vulnerable populations (such as people with medical conditions) and consider ways to mitigate these impacts. 

SB 560 (McGuire) requires utilities to provide advance warning about power shut-offs to entities that are essential to wildfire response, including public safety offices, health care facilities, and mobile telephone carriers.