(NAPA, Calif-) – Napa Firewise, Napa County’s wildfire awareness and preparedness program, and the Napa County Fire Department, announce the return of their popular free chipping program, beginning on March 17 and running through October. Online applications are being accepted beginning March 17 at www.napafirewise.org, or by calling the chipping hotline at (707) 967-1426. Actual onsite chipping begins March 31.
“While spring is the best time of the year to follow through with vegetation management plans, drought conditions statewide demand extra caution and care until we get some significant rainfall,” says chipping program coordinator Amy Head.
“Chipping has become a key tactic for defensible space preparation throughout the county and around the state,” says Head. “Many residents don’t realize that state law requires all homeowners living in high risk areas to have a 100-foot perimeter around their homes and structures. This proper clearance to 100 feet dramatically increases the chance of your house surviving a wildfire. Defensible space also provides firefighters with an extra margin of safety when protecting homes during a wildland fire.”
It should be noted that the chipping service is not intended for general land clearing. It is for defensible space preparation, and the vegetation management and maintenance of road access to homes and outbuildings.
“That said, for us to accommodate a growing number of chipping customers countywide, the application process is critical. Without a completed application that confirms the location, pile size and other essential information, we will not be able to respond to the request,” says Head.
“Participation in the chipping program is quite easy,” says Head. A complete list of regulations and requirements is available online in the “Chipping Basics” section of the Napa Firewise website (www.napafirewise.org).
Applicants who fail to meet the program criteria will be put on notice and may be required to re-submit their application request.
“All you need to do is to prepare your vegetation piles according to guidelines we provide, and fill out an online application at www.napafirewise.org, or call the chipping hotline at (707) 967-1426. It’s that easy,” says Head. “There is no limit on the amount of materials residents can put out for chipping.”
Napa Firewise is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation designed to provide Napa County residents with wildfire awareness, education and community action support.