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2021 Summer Chipping Information

2021 Summer pre-registration applications open on May 7, 2021 to recognized FireWise USA Communities. Pre-registration begins for all eligible Santa Cruz County residents on May 12, 2021 (see Program schedule for application deadlines).

Who is eligible?

Chipping services are available for Santa Cruz County residential properties with occupied structures that are within the Wildland Urban Interface (see map). Residents of Bonny Doon and South Skyline areas of Santa Cruz County are not currenlty eligible and should sign up for chipping services through their local Fire Safe Council. This program only chips materials that originated with 100 feet of an occupied structure or within 10 feet on either side of a private road.

Property owners impacted by the CZU Fire who lost their home may participate in the program if:

  1. Your new home will be rebuilt before the end of the 2021 fire season (for next year’s program it will be the 2022 fire season) OR
  2. You are currently living on the property in a temporary dwelling (mobile home, RV, etc) as your primary residence and will be there through the 2021 fire season OR
  3. Vegetation on your property is within 100 feet of a neighbor’s occupied home.

How do I sign up for the chipping program?

Signups are first-come-first served by region and residents must complete a two-part registration process to be enrolled and confirmed into the program. Part one is an online pre-registration application to verify that space is available, and part two is a chipping scheduling form that you will complete once your materials are stacked and ready for chipping. Submittal of this form will lock in your chipping date.

STEP 1. Find your property on the chipping map to confirm which chipping region you are in and check ALL dates (pre-registration application and chipping scheduling deadlines and the date range that chipping will take place in your neighborhood) on the Program schedule .

STEP 2. Apply to the Program. Complete the Chipping Program instruction tutorial then fill out the online pre-registration application (link provided at the end of the tutorial) by the scheduled due date for your region. No late applications will be accepted.

STEP 3. Prepare material to be chipped. Complete defensible space clearing and prepare piles in accordance with the pdfchipping checklist and take before and after photos.

STEP 4. Lock in your chipping dates. Complete the Chipping Scheduling Form by the scheduled due date for your region to confirm and lock in chipping dates. A unique link to the form will be emailed to you upon completion of the pre-registration application. No late applications will be accepted.

The pre-registration application and scheduling forms MUST be completed by the listed deadlines for each region. Late applications will NOT be accepted. Piles will be chipped within the timeline listed for your region (see schedule for specific dates).

Find your property's chipping region & program deadlines

  • To locate your property, type your address in the seach box on the upper right hand section of the map and choose your address from the options given OR hit the search button (magnifying glass). This will zoom the map to your property. To see what region you are in, use the arrow at the top of the popup window to click to the next popup screen or click in the colored area next to your address location. Alternately, using your mouse and the plus or minus buttons on the upper left, navigate and zoom into your property location. Click on the colored region where you property is located and take note of your "Region" in the popup window as you will need this information when filling out the Chipping Scheduling form in step 4. (Appli_Due=Application Due Date, Sched_Due=Chipping Scheduling Form Due Date)

    You can use zoom in/ out tools in the left corner of the map to adjust the map scale.

    Once you have your Region recorded, please click on the "Deadlines for Application & Chipping Scheduling Table" above and review all dates.

    *IMPORTANT NOTE: If your property or the road to your property is not SAFELY accessible to a large truck pulling a chipper, we will NOT be able to provide chipping services for your property even if it is on the colored area of the map.

  • Check the table below and find your region. Take note of the pre-registration application open and close dates, the chipping scheduling form deadline and the expected dates for chipping to happen in your neighborhood.

    Region (see map) General Area (see map) Pre-Reg App
    OPENS 6:00AM
    Pre-Reg App
    CLOSES 9:00PM
    Chipping Schedule form
    due by 9:00PM
    Chipping Dates
    FireWise (ALL REGIONS) May 7, 2021 May 11, 2021 check your region check your region
    Region 1 Amesti Road Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 2 Summit Road Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 3 Mountain Home Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 4 Interlaken/Pajaro Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 5 Newell Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 6 Love Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 7 Corralitos Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 8 Boulder Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 9 San Lorenzo Park Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 10 Lompico Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 18, 2021 June 6, 2021 June 8 - June 18, 2021
    Region 11 Aptos Hills-Larkin Valley Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 12 Zayante Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 13 Olympia Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 14 Aptos Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 15 Soquel Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 16 Bear Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 17 Riverdale Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 18 Felton Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 19 Ano Nuevo Creek Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 20 Arana-Rodeo Area May 12, 2021 May 25, 2021 June 13, 2021 June 15 - June 25, 2021
    Region 21 Bean Creek Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2021
    Region 22 Brookdale Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2022
    Region 23 Waddell Creek Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2023
    Region 24 Brimblecom Road Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2024
    Region 25 Two Bar/Kings Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2025
    Region 26 Ben Lomond Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2026
    Region 27 Glen Arbor Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2027
    Region 28 Mount Hermon Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2028
    Region 29 Pasatiempo Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2029
    Region 30 Branciforte Creek Area May 12, 2021 June 1, 2021 June 20, 2021 June 22 - July 2, 2021

Complete the program requirements tutorial and pre-registration application

Using your mouse, click through the slides below. You will learn about the program, what your responsabilities are, and program deadlines. This process will take 5 to 10 minutes.


  • 1/13

    Overview

    The goal of the chipping program is to assist residents in creating defensible space around their homes and private roads. It is essential for improving your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire and your ability to get out safely. Defensible space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland areas that surround it. This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it helps protect your home from catching fire—either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. It is also important for protecting the firefighters and first responders who are performing rescues and saving homes. This tutorial will walk your through the steps to participate in the program.

  • 2/13

    Pre-register for the program

    At the end of this tutorial you will be directed to a link to complete the online pre-registration application. Each participating property must complete their own application. One email address can only reserve a spot for one property. You will receive an immediate email confirming that your application was accepted or if you were added to the wait list. It will include a chipping checklist and further instructions. Make sure to check your junk mail if you don’t get a confirmation. SAVE THIS EMAIL. It will have a unique link for scheduling the chipping once your piles are ready.

    This program is first-come-first-served for each region. Please note the date your regions pre-registration applications close.
  • 3/13

    Complete clearing and prepare piles

    Safety. When creating defensible space, be aware that new hazards can arise if measures are not taken to protect bare soil and slopes from erosion. Be conscious of high voltage power lines on or near your property. Be fire safe when using motorized equipment to clear defensible space. Work early during the day with lower temperatures and higher humidity. All motorized equipment should have spark arrestors.

  • 4/13

    Complete clearing and prepare piles

    Nesting Birds. Visually inspect the tree, branch or shrub for signs of nests or nesting activity before cutting. If you find a nest, do not do any cutting within at least 50’ of the nest until the chick has fledged. Do not attempt to move or disturb the nest.

    It is unlawful to needlessly destroy the nest of any nesting bird – CDFW Code 3503.

  • 5/13

    Complete clearing and prepare piles

    This Program can only chip materials that originated within 100 feet of occupied structures or within 10 feet on either side of a private road. Visit the Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County for more information on defensible space and home hardening tips.

    Please take at least one before and one after photo of the clearing work. Both photos should be taken from the same location. These will be uploaded when you complete the chipping schedule form. Alternately you can take a photo of your piles, but the other is preferred.

  • 6/13

    Complete clearing and prepare piles

    Piles CAN include:

    • Tree limbs up to 8 inches in diameter and 10 feet long (don't cut into shorter branches because the are easier to chip).
    • Side branches up to 4 feet (trim side branches greater that 4 feet wide)
    • Vegetation from within 100 feet of a home or 10 feet on either side of a private road.
    • Piles MUST be hand stacked.
    • Cut ends should all face the same direction toward the road and on the uphill side of sloped roads.
  • 7/13

    Complete clearing and prepare piles

    Piles CAN NOT include:

    • Timber harvest debris, or vineyard and orchard waste.
    • Poison oak, ivy or blackberry vines.
    • Broom or acacia with seed pods, or other invasive materials.
    • Non-compostable materials (painted or treated lumber, trash, metal wire, etc.)
    • Palm fronds, roots, stumps, rocks or mud.

    NO locked gates or loose dogs.

  • 8/13

    Complete clearing and prepare piles

    Each property is allowed up to THREE piles at 8 x 4 x 10 feet each (depth is dependent on length of branches). Piles must be hand stacked. Cut ends should all face the same direction toward the road and on the uphill side of sloped roads.

  • 9/13

    Complete clearing and prepare piles

    Pile locations must be accessible to a large box truck and chipper trailer. Extremely narrow or steep driveways may not be serviceable.

    Piles must be located within 5 feet of chipper access location.

    Chipper access must be along established roads in good condition. Unpaved roads can not be wet at time of chipping service.

    NO locked gates or loose dogs.

  • 10/13

    Complete clearing and prepare piles

    Chips will be blown back onto your property. Place piles in an area where you want the chips. Check the RCD resources library for the top 10 uses for chips.

    Make sure your street address is visible and that piles are clearly marked with your street number.

    Loose dogs may prevent chipping. Inform us if you have dogs.

  • 11/13

    Schedule chipping

    Once your piles are ready for chipping, you must complete the chipping scheduling form to lock in your chipping dates and ensure that YOUR address is provided to the chipping contractor. An unique link to this form is provided when you complete your pre-registration application. Check the deadline for completing this form. Dates vary by region.

    Also check the dates for when the chipping is expected to take place in YOUR region. If you do not want your piles sitting for too long, we recommend preparing them as close as possible to the chipping dates listed for your region.

    We can ONLY provide a 10 day window for chipping due to the number of properties we are servicing.

    NO LATE FORMS WILL BE EXCEPTED.

  • 12/13

    Schedule Chipping

    Data needed for the form:

    1. A minimum of one representative before photo and one after photo of the clearing you completed taken from the same location (preferable) OR a photo of the piles.

    2. How many piles and the average measurements in feet(length x height x depth) of the piles.

    3. The number of hours and date range that you spent clearing and preparing your piles OR the dollar amount you paid a third party to do this work (this is used as in-kind match and is critical for us to secure funding for chipping).

    4. Your Region/Neighborhood from the chipping map.

  • 13/13

    Schedule chipping

    You will receive email confirmation that your chipping has been scheduled with the corresponding date range for chipping.

    Contractors will do a quick drive-by assessment prior to chipping to check for access issues or other concerns.

    If you do not have access to camera to take digital photos, please contact the RCD for assistance.


    Complete your application on the next slide ->

  • Complete Your Application

    Applications are now closed.

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Our Offices

  • 820 Bay Avenue, Suite 136
    Capitola, California 95010
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