Residents of Burbank, CA who live in homes with non-fire rated wood roofs have until August 14 to tear-off and replace theirs roofs with Class A fire-rated materials (see "Wood Roof Removal," City of Burbank). The ordinance has actually been on the books since 1992, when the city prohibited the use of non-fire rated wood roofing for new construction and reroofs. That law set an August, 2012 deadline for the removal of existing wood roofing. Prior to that deadline, however, a proposal that was supported by the city's fire chief called for pushing the deadline to 2014 (see the letter from the Burbank fire chief, 6/5/12). The city's ordinance had already mandated the removal of wood roofing in the Fire Hazard Severity Zone (formerly known as the Mountain Fire Zone). The current ordinance applies to all residential roofs within the city limits.

Similar laws are on the books in San Bernadin, CA (see ROTW News,  1/14/14), Beverly Hills, CA (see "Wood Roof Ordinance," Beverly Hills Community Development), and Boulder, CO (see Section 10-5-5 of the city building code). In 2007, the city of Big Bear Lake, CA passed an ordinance that included the required removal of existing wood roofing at the time of any property sale, and a final deadline for all properties of September 1, 2012 (see "Ordinance 2007-383," City of Big Bear Lake PDF)

Other communities in California have chosen to make the removal of non-fire-rated wood roofs optional, and sought grants for subsidizing roof replacement through FEMA and the California Emergency Management Agency (For an example, see the Lake Valley Fire Protection District "Wood Roof Replacement Program").

Details for building against wildfire - which include not only Class-A fire-rated roofing materials but also fire-resistant siding and decking and screen-covered vent openings - have been around almost as long as some of the ordinances (see "How to Build Fire-Proof Homes," Builder 5/03).