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The original item was published from 2/23/2021 3:43:59 PM to 2/23/2021 5:07:03 PM.

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Napa County News

Posted on: February 24, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Napa County to Begin Annual Chipping Program

Free Program Helps Protect Residential Properties from Wildfire

Napa, CA – The Napa County Fire Department’s (NCFD) annual chipping program is set to begin March 1st, 2021. Residential properties within the unincorporated areas of Napa County are eligible for this free program designed to help property owners comply with State and local defensible space requirements.

Defensible space is the buffer created around buildings and the grass, trees and brush surrounding them in areas of California prone to large, damaging wildfires. Defensible space is designed to slow the spread of wildfire and can help protect buildings from catching fire, either from direct flame contact or from radiant heat.

“Defensible space is one of the most critical factors property owners have control over when it comes to helping protect their homes from the wildfires that plague our area,” stated Napa County Fire Chief Geoff Belyea. “Defensible space also gives our firefighters a fighting chance to save your property in the face of these increasingly intense fires.”

Residents wishing to take part in the program are asked to pile their vegetative material within five feet of a road or driveway on level ground or the uphill side of the road. All blunt ends must face towards the road or driveway and the piles must be free of all roots, stumps, rocks and dirt. Each pile must not exceed a maximum height of six feet and material in the piles can be no greater than six inches in diameter. The chipping vehicles must stay on compacted surfaces and will not go off-road or across fields to access the piles

It is important to note that piles will not be chipped if they contain any of the following materials:

  • All varieties of broom (such as invasive Scotch broom)
  • Poison oak
  • Blackberries, vines or anything with thorns
  • Foreign materials or non-vegetative items
  • Root balls, stumps, dirt, or twigs
  • Piles of leaves, pine needles or yard clippings
  • The NCFD will not chip for timber harvest or commercial projects
  • No heavy material on top of smaller material

Once all piles are stacked and ready for chipping, property owners are asked to complete this online form:

Once the online form is completed and submitted, County crews will arrive to chip your material within four to six weeks.

The chipper program is a cooperative endeavor between the County of Napa and the Napa County Fire Department. 

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