Fire Hazard Severity Zones (FHSZ)

California’s seasonally dry Mediterranean climate lends itself to wildfires, and in an effort to better prepare, CAL FIRE is required to classify the severity of fire hazard in areas of California.

View Current Approved FHSZ Maps


What Are The Fire Hazard Severity Zones?

The History of Fire Hazard Severity Zone Maps

What are Fire Hazard Severity Zones?

The State Fire Marshal is mandated to classify lands within State Responsibility Areas into Fire Hazard Severity Zones (FHSZ).

Fire Hazard Severity Zones fall into the following classifications:

  • Moderate
  • High
  • Very High

The California laws that require Fire Hazard Severity Zones include California Public Resource code 4201-4204, California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 1280 and California Government Code 51175-89.


Explore Fire Hazard Severity Zones

The Fire Hazard Severity Zone (FHSZ) maps are developed using a science-based and field-tested model that assigns a hazard score based on the factors that influence fire likelihood and fire behavior. Many factors are considered such as fire history, existing and potential fuel (natural vegetation), predicted flame length, blowing embers, terrain, and typical fire weather for the area. There are three levels of hazard in the State Responsibility Areas: moderate, high, and very high. 

Fire Hazard Severity Zone maps evaluate “hazard,” not “risk”. They are like flood zone maps, where lands are described in terms of the probability level of a particular area being inundated by floodwaters, and not specifically prescriptive of impacts. “Hazard” is based on the physical conditions that create a likelihood and expected fire behavior over a 30 to 50-year period without considering mitigation measures such as home hardening, recent wildfire, or fuel reduction efforts. “Risk” is the potential damage a fire can do to the area under existing conditions, accounting for any modifications such as fuel reduction projects, defensible space, and ignition resistant building construction. 

Fire Hazard Severity Zones viewer in State Responsibility Area (Currently in Regulatory Review)

You can enter your address to locate your property on a map showing Fire Hazard Severity Zones. Due to the nature of this content, some users who require Assistive Technology may experience accessibility issues. If you experience any problems while trying to access this content, please call the hotline at (916)633-7655, or e-mail:

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Map Adoption Process

  • Classification of all lands within State Responsibility Areas into fire hazard severity zones is required by law. Therefore, the fire hazard severity zone designations and accompanying maps must follow the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and be approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The regulation can be found in Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 1280.01 and entitled “Fire Hazard Severity Zones in the SRA”.  

Methods for Creating Fire Hazard Severity Zone Maps

Fire Hazard Severity Zone - Update on the Adoption Process

Enhance your Property’s Fire Safety

It is your responsibility to prepare yourself, your family, and your home for when wildfire strikes. Creating and maintaining defensible space and hardening your home by retrofitting it with ignition-resistant or noncombustible materials to protect against the threat of flying embers, direct flame contact, and radiant heat exposure will dramatically increase your safety and the survivability of your home.


Preparing Your Home and Property for Wildfire

Preparing starts with hardening your home and maintaining adequate Defensible Space around your home and property. Home Hardening means using ignition-resistant materials on and around your home to help it withstand flying embers and radiant heat. Defensible Space is the buffer created by removing dead plants, grass, and weeds to help keep wildfire away from your home. 

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions




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