Cal Fire will hold public comment hearings in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties this month as part of the process of revising Fire Hazard Severity Zone maps.

Fire Hazard Severity Zones identify wildfire hazard areas that the state of California has financial responsibility for wildfire protection.

The zones are developed by using a science-based and field-tested model that assigns a hazard score based on the factors that influence fire likelihood and fire behavior. Some of those factors include fire history, existing and potential fuel, predicted flame length, blowing embers, terrain and typical weather for the area.

Like flood zone maps, FHSZ maps describe in terms of wildfire probability level based on conditions that can create a fire over a 30- to 50-year period without considering mitigation measures like home hardening, recent wildfire or fuel reduction efforts.

The federal Administrative Procedures Act requires a minimum 45-day period for public comment to the Office of the State Fire Marshal in writing on the proposed regulation.

The meetings for public comment will be held Jan. 10 and 11. The first is at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 at the Ben Lomond Training Center, located at 13575 Empire Grade in Santa Cruz County. The next day, a meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the San Mateo County Regional Operations Center, located at 501 Winslow St. in Redwood City.

The hearings are only to receive public comment. No questions will be answered at these meetings.

More details, as well as a comment link, can be found on the Cal Fire website.