Stern’s SB 63, The Wildfire Resilience through Community and Ecology Act, Signed into Law by Governor Newsom

September 29, 2021

SACRAMENTO – SB 63, The Wildfire Resilience through Community and Ecology Act, by Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles), has been signed into law and will take effect on January 1.  SB 63 establishes a Fire Resiliency Corps at the state and neighborhood levels designed to link with the President’s Civilian Climate Corps proposal, among other things.  

“Building resilience within our high fire risk communities starts with education and training,” said Stern, the chair of the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee.  “SB 63 will deploy a volunteer network of trained community members to educate their neighbors about the importance of simple home hardening efforts and the creation of defensible space.” 

SB 63 also requires the state to identify moderate and high severity fire zones which the Building Standards Commission will use to establish modified ignition-resistant building standards for the new zones. The bill also makes important clarifications in defensible space and vegetation management law to ensure all ecological systems are treated appropriately.  

“Decades of research and post-fire assessments have provided clear evidence that how homes are designed and the materials used to build them, coupled with how the properties are landscaped, are important factors influencing a home’s ability to survive a wildfire,” added Stern. “Fire-safe building standards are cost-effective and will save lives.” 

SB 63 was supported by California Building Industry Association, California fire Safe Councils, California State Association of Counties, the National Fire Protection Association, and the California Fire Chiefs Association.  The bill will take effect January 1, 2022.