MARIPOSA — As the State’s annual Fire Prevention Fee bills are being mailed out to property owners, people often wonder what becomes of the money and whether any of it is being used to their benefit.
The Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit would like to answer a few questions regarding the fee and how funds are being used to keep the communities in Mariposa and Eastern Madera County fire safe.
What is the Fire Prevention Fee?
The Fire Prevention Fee is an annual fee assessed on owners of habitable structures located within the State Responsibility Area (SRA). Assembly Bill X1 29, effective July 8, 2011, required the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to establish the Fire Prevention Fee to pay for fire prevention services throughout the state in locations designated as SRA.
What is a habitable structure?
A habitable structure is a building that contains one or more dwelling units or that can be occupied for residential use. Such structures provide independent living facilities for one or more persons, including provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
Examples of habitable structures include single family homes, multi- dwelling structures, mobile and manufactured homes, and condominiums. Habitable structures do NOT include commercial, industrial or incidental buildings such as detached garages, barns, outdoor sanitation facilities, and sheds.
Who is responsible for paying the fee?
The person or agency responsible for paying the fee is the owner of record of a habitable structure on July 1 of the fiscal year the fee is due, as recorded in the county assessor rolls or in the records of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. This is the case regardless of whether the owner of record changed during the fiscal year.
Cal Fire in Madera and Mariposa Counties is currently working on the following projects:
- North Fork Air Curtain Burner
- Mariposa Air Curtain Burner
- Cedar Valley Tree Mortality project
- Lushmeadows/Stumpfield project
- Starchman Fuel Break
- Mariposa County Road project
- Mariposa Woodlot
- Red Cloud Park Tree Removal
- Road 620/Road 628 project
The SRA fee also provides grant opportunities for cooperators within Madera and Mariposa Counties. $1,719,500 has been awarded in Mariposa County and $923,548 has been awarded in Eastern Madera County to since 2014. Grant Projects include:
- Ponderosa Basin Tree Mortality Mitigation project
- Lushmeadows Mountain Estates Tree Mortality project
- Jerseydale Tree Mortality Mitigation project
- Midpines Tree Mortality Mitigation project
- Greeley Hill Tree Mortality Mitigation project
- Low Income Mariposa Tree Removal
- Firewise Communities Evacuation Routes
- Cascadel Tree Removal
- North Fork Biomass Disposal Facility
- Reducing the threat via removal of downed dead trees for Mariposa County
- Mariposa Countywide Chipping of Hazardous Fuels Program
- Hazard Reduction Lake Shore Park
- Hazardous Fuels Removal along Non-county maintained roads