Home Sales Inspections – AB 38

The following information applies to all residences within the Zayante Fire Protection District. Please review and use the link below to schedule inspections with a CalFire Inspector.

On or after July 1, 2021, a seller of real property in a Fire Hazard Severity Zone in the State Responsibility Area (SRA) shall provide documentation to the buyer that the property is compliant with Public Resource Code (PRC) section 4291 requirements for the creation and maintenance of defensible space. For real property located in the SRA, CAL FIRE is the agency responsible to conduct defensible space inspections and provide documentation of compliance to the property owner. AB 38 requires the seller to provide the buyer with documentation obtained in the six-month period preceding the date the seller enters into a transaction to sell real property. To comply with the provision of Civil Code section 1102.19 (a)(2), CAL FIRE will provide the necessary inspection and documentation the seller needs to provide to the buyer. Additionally, if the seller has not obtained documentation of compliance before the sale, the buyer and seller are required to enter into an agreement stating that the buyer will obtain appropriate documentation of compliance with applicable defensible space requirements within one year of the date of the close of escrow. In areas where CAL FIRE is responsible for enforcement of defensible space requirements, this requirement in AB 38 will generate increased workload. CAL FIRE’s goal of completing 250,000 defensible space inspections annually was set based on an evaluation of existing staff resources for which the department is already budgeted, and assumes the inspectors are completing a PRC section 4291 inspection once every three years. CAL FIRE is responsible for the protection of life, property, and natural resources from wildfire in the 31 million acres of the SRA. PRC section 714 states CAL FIRE is responsible for providing fire prevention and maintaining an integrated staff to accomplish fire prevention activities as needed. Per PRC section 4119, CAL FIRE is required to enforce the state’s forest and fire laws. The CAL FIRE Defensible Space Inspection Program has been in place for over 60 years to enforce PRC section 4291, which requires the creation and maintenance of defensible space around all structures in the SRA. In addition to providing a safe space for firefighters to defend a home, defensible space is essential to improve a home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. During the Camp Fire, a home was five times more likely to be destroyed by the fire if it was noncompliant with PRC section 4291.

To request an inspection for properties in the SRA (State Responsibility Area managed by CAL FIRE), use the following link: https://www.fire.ca.gov/programs/communications/defensible-space-prc-4291/