Local fire hazard areas reviewed

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat /

The city of Sonora will be one of a handful of local communities to go through a process in the coming year that could affect property owners' fire insurance.

ISO, a company that evaluates insurance risks nationally, will review the city's fire suppression rating this year for the first time in about a decade.

City Fire Chief Mike Barrows said ISO representatives are expected to be in town sometime next month, with a new rating likely a couple months after that. And according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection, the communities of Tuolumne, Jamestown and Groveland are expected to go through the same process this year.

"It's a regular re-evaluation," Barrows said.

The ISO fire rating is generally used by insurance companies to calculate costs for fire insurance policies. The ratings, from 1 to 10, are given to properties within a community judging their risk for fire based on the local fire department, water supply and emergency communications in the community.

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