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Welcome to the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council’s (MCFSC) Community “Chipper Day” Program. A Chipper Day is when neighbors in a defined area plan to do defensible space and/or roadside clearing projects.  We arrange to have a chipper crew come chip all of the limbs and brush and either scatter or haul it away FOR FREE – which significantly reduces the cost and labor involved in making your neighborhood and home safer in the event of a wildfire.

Thanks to funding from Mendocino County, MCFSC is now scheduling chipper days for 2022.

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

There are two options for setting up a chipper day. 
1) Someone can coordinate one for your area.  That involves a) developing a list of participants, b) coordinating with Bobbie in our office to set a date at  707-462-3662 or email admin@firesafemendocino.org c) making sure participants know the rules for making chipper piles (below), d) managing the total number of piles so that we can get it all done, and e) helping coordinate the day by relaying any needed information such as gate codes, the best route to use, accessibility issues for large equipment, any other Mendo-specific issues we should plan for, etc.  Coordinated days are usually the most successful.
2) If no one is ready to coordinate a day for your neighborhood you can use our automated program to reserve a space for yourself and we will coordinate a day once it looks like there are enough people interested in your area for us to efficiently schedule a crew.  Use the link below to reserve a spot on the next available day in your area.  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 complete the online reservation call our office to get enrolled at 707-462-3662.

To sign up go to:


For a bit more of an orientation check out this Chipper Day video produced by one of our project partners Family Tree Resource:
https://youtu.be/cqO8KuHDfXs  NOTE:  Depending on a number of factors we may not have a truck that can haul away chips in your area so we may only be able to provide service if we can broadcast or pile chips at your location in your area.  Please note if you will not be able to accept chips on site as part of your application.

Thanks for checking out the program. Working together we can all make Mendocino County a safer, more wildfire resilient home for us all!

What Makes a Good Chipper Pile?

If you have a Community Chipper Day scheduled for your area soon
please see this document for the detailed requirements for your chipper

Chipper Pile Guidelines


General guidelines are:

  • 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;
  • piles should not include any roots or stumps, poison oak, oleander, vines, spiny plants, roses, blackberry, broom or gorse (or other known invasive species),  rakings or piles of needles, leaves or grass, construction type wood or fence posts;
  • piles should be near the road or drive, accessible to the crew and not on a steep slope, cut ends should face in the same direction, toward the road, and all piles must be in locations readily accessible for a large chipper truck towing a chipper;
  • 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;
  • crews should never be interrupted or distracted while working;
  • landowners may choose whether chips will be removed or left onsite (unless invasive species are detected in a chipper in which case all chipped material will need to be hauled away).

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

workers turn trees into wood chips