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MENDOCINO COUNTY

COMMUNITY CHIPPER PROGRAM

Welcome to the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council’s (MCFSC) Community “Chipper Day” Program!

This program is designed to assist neighborhoods in creating and maintaining defensible space around their homes as well as creating and maintaining roadside ingress and egress in their neighborhoods. Through individual action and community work parties you can make your neighborhood and home safer in the event of a wildfire. How it works: schedule a chipper day as a neighborhood or join our waitlist as an individual (this would mean others in your area would still have to sign up too), build MCFSC-compliant chipper piles, and MCFSC will coordinate a chipper crew to come chip the piles FOR FREE!  Chipper days are running year-round. 

NOTE: This free chipping service is intended to help Mendocino County residents clear defensible space, i.e., the 100′ immediately around their homes and structures.  Our limited funding must also stretch county-wide.  This is not an unlimited free service for individual landowners or an opportunity for clearing large properties.  The number of piles we can chip at any one property is limited to 5 pick-up bed sized piles.     

2023-2024 funding for this program is provided by the State Coastal Conservancy.

There are two options for organizing a Community Chipper Day. Please read all the instructions before contacting MCFSC or signing up. 

If you have a volunteer willing to coordinate the day for your neighborhood, follow the instructions below to schedule the next available day. We recommend this – coordinated days are usually the most successful!

Chipper Day coordinators must:

  1.  Develop a list of all participants
  2.  You do not have to use the link below to sign up. Simply, contact our office to set a date at (707) 462-3662 or admin@firesafemendocino.org.
  3.  Make sure all participants know the rules for making chipper piles (scroll down to read the instructions).
  4.  We need to know the exact number of piles being 5X5X10 to account for the proper time on each property.
  5.  Relay any necessary information such as gate codes, best routes, accessibility issues for large equipment, etc. to MCFSC.

Get our flier to help promote a chipper day in your area.

 

If you don’t have a volunteer to coordinate the whole neighborhood, you can use our automated system to reserve a space for yourself. Once there are enough people in your area to efficiently schedule a crew, MCFSC will coordinate a chipper day. Use the yellow button below to sign up for the waitlist.

Then, let your neighbors know about the opportunity!  The more people who are interested in your area, the sooner we can provide this FREE service. If you cannot access the online reservation, call our office at (707) 462-3662.

Please DO NOT make any piles before you have a confirmed reservation.

NOTE:  Hauling chips off-site is usually not possible. We may only be able to provide service if we can broadcast or pile chips at your location or at a prearranged nearby location.  Please note if you will not be able to accept chips on site when you sign up.

Thanks to funding from the State Coastal Conservancy and Mendocino County, MCFSC is now scheduling chipper days for 2023-2024.

Check out this Chipper Day Orientation Video produced by one of our project partners, Family Tree Resource, for more information:

What Makes a Good Chipper Pile?

If you have a Community Chipper Day scheduled for your area, you must read this document for detailed requirements for your chipper pile.

General Chipper Piles Guidlines:

  • brush must be clean of metal, rock, or other debris that may damage equipment or pose a risk to operators (bulldozed or machine stacked piles cannot be processed);
  • individual piles should be no larger than one large pickup-truckload in size and no taller than 5′;
  • no material should be longer than 10 feet long or 6 inches in diameter;
  • each location is allowed 5 piles maximum;
  • piles should not include any roots or stumps, poison oak, oleander, vines, spiny plants, roses, blackberry, bamboo, broom, gorse (or other known invasive species),  rakings or piles of needles, leaves or grass, construction type wood or fence posts;
  • all piles must be in locations readily accessible for a large chipper truck towing a chipper (ie. piles should be near the road or drive, and not on a steep slope);
  • cut ends should face in the same direction, toward the road;
  • if possible, brush-cutting should occur within a few days of Chipper Days, for easier chipping and reduced fire risk from piles sitting out on roadsides;
  • all removed materials must benefit a home within 100 feet. This is part of a defensible space;
  • crews should never be interrupted or distracted while working.

If your pile does not comply with the above guidelines it will not be chipped and you will be responsible for disposing of the unchipped material.

 See below for the current schedule of Community Chipper Days Or Call to schedule a date for your Neighborhood.

Date County Location
July 1,2024 Ridgewood FSC
July 8,2024 Sherwood
July 15,2024 Albion
July 17,2024 Little River
July 25,2024 Navarro

 

The following NFSC regular chipper days. Must be registered, each area has a minimum of 5 properties and 10 piles minimum. Please call to set up your NFSC or Firewise community today!

Ridgewood FSC  1st Monday of every Month
Sherwood FSC  2nd Monday of every Month
Navarro FSC  4th Thursday of every Month

Thanks for helping make Community Chipper Days possible and Mendocino County a safer place to live.