Fire Hazards Severity Zones (FHSZ) are managed by the Cal Fire department. Disclosure by the seller and a Real Estate agent must be done to a buyer when the Fire Hazards are considered very high (a disclosure is always made, the form will tell you whether you are in a very high zone or not.)
In the Sacramento County, only a small area close to Clay is viewed as being at high risk. Most of the East side of the county, South of highway 50 is considered to be a moderate risk.
This is why a fire hazard disclosure is always negative in Sacramento and the cities around. It does not mean that the hazard does not exist.
Although the Cal Fire department creates a list of cities they consider to be in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ), local authorities have the final word to integrate or not those recommendations.
When living in a VHFHSZ, you are responsible, by law, for a certain number of maintenance requirements as per Section 51182 of the Government Code. There is a very brief resume of those points:
- Keep a defensible space of 100 feet around your habitable structure;
- In some area, clearing may be required for more than 100 feet;
- Your insurance may ask you to keep a defensible space of more than 100 feet (if also allowed by law);
- Trees cannot be less than 10 feet away from a chimney or stovepipe;
- Maintain trees, shrub, etc. free of dead or dying wood;
- Maintain your roof free of dead leaves, needles, branches, etc.;
- Prior construction of a new habitable dwelling or rebuilding of a dwelling that was damaged by fire, a building compliance certification is required prior to construction taking place.
Source: Sacramento County FHSZ Map
Source: California FHSZ Map