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Defensible Space Chipping Program

The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County will chip brush that is cleared from defensible space of any permanent structure, and/or 30’ from any roadside or driveway used for evacuation purposes.  Any vegetation that grows past such limitations is beyond the boundaries of what we can chip.

Grant funding is very limited for the Chipping program.  We need your support to keep the program functional.  The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County relies on a suggested donation of $75 per hour from chipping customers, membership dues, and generous donations from local businesses and Nevada County residents, to keep the program running.

Chipping service is limited to 4 hours per customer each rotation, to enable us to provide service to all customers in a reasonable amount of time.  As you are working to create defensible space, please submit orders routinely rather than waiting until your project is complete.  This will help to keep the volume reasonable, and avoid creating a fire hazard if our program is backed up.  During high volume periods in the Spring and Summer, wait times can reach 4-5 weeks. Your partnership is greatly appreciated in making Nevada County safer from wildfire!

To Use the Chipping Program:

1. Create your piles to be chipped.

2. Download the Defensible Space Chipping Application, or contact the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County at (530) 272-1122 and leave your name, mailing address, and phone number, and a Defensible Space Chipping Application will be mailed to you.

3. After the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County receives your chipping application, they will enter it on the appropriate neighborhood route.

Chipping is completed on a six to eight week rotation throughout all the different neighborhoods.  When you complete your piles for chipping and submit your chipping application, we will determine how long it will be before the chipper arrives to complete your chipping.  If you would like to learn how to receive priority chipping, please visit our membership page.

The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is NOT able to chip:

  • Solid Piles of Leaves
  • Pine Needles
  • Yard Clippings
  • Decaying Wood
  • Scotch Broom
  • Timber Harvest Projects

Waste Management offers a “Green Waste Pick-Up” program to dispose of such materials. They can be contacted at (530) 274-3090.

Program Requirements:

  • Chipping piles need to be stacked along a road or driveway frontages, which will allow the crew to work from the road or driveway. 
  • Piles must be placed within 5 feet of chipper access.
  • Piles must be placed on the uphill side of road or driveway. 
  • Piles must be free of roots/stumps, rocks and mud, poison oak, scotch broom, and blackberries and other vines.
  • Piles must be stacked with the cut ends facing the same direction, pointing towards access route to piles.
  • Piles must not be higher than 4 feet high.
  • Material can be up to 8" in diameter, and needs to be at least 3 feet in length.  The longer the better for the crew - easier to feed through the chipper.
  • All material chipped will be blown back onto the property, or put in a pile where the brush was stacked.
  • The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County will provide service on a first-come, first–served basis.  We reserve the right to limit service to individual customers to no more than 4 hours per rotation on the various neighborhood routes.
  • The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County cannot clean up timber harvest projects, vacant lots, or active pot grows.

Any more questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County (530) 272-1122.

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Defensible Space Chipping Form



Chipping Pile

Chipping 2