Neighborhood Chipper Program

Neighborhood Chipper Program

The Neighborhood Chipper Program is based on a “you cut, we chip” model. Home owners are responsible for cutting, gathering and piling vegetation from around their homes to a roadside location. We will provide chipping crews who visit neighborhood-by-neighborhood to chip vegetation either back on site or for removal. Home owners can keep the chips on site or we will haul them away at no cost.

The Neighborhood Chipper Program is a collaborative effort between Fire Safe San Mateo County, Woodside Fire Protection District, CAL FIRE, San Mateo Resource Conservation District and South Skyline Fire Safe Council. The program provides no-cost chipping to select neighborhoods to assist homeowners in maintaining defensible space. Funds for this program are through grant and local funding by program partners (Measure K).


SIGN UP - Select Neighborhoods Only

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (650) 712-7765 x 115 with the following information:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Telephone Number (home or cell)
  • Address
  • Neighborhood (El Granada, Butano Canyon, Palomar Park, Other)
  • Information about chipping piles such as location, size, number of piles, any special requirements. Piles must be along a public or private roadway, driveway or lane with easy turn-around for a 10 wheel truck and 15-ft chipper. Indicate any special requirements below.
  • Gate code (if needed)
  • Chip placement (in a pile near original brush pile, remove chips , broadcast over large area nearby)


Neighborhoods are chosen based on a risk-asset model for communities in unincorporated areas. New neighborhoods may be added as funding becomes available. 

  • For communities within Woodside Fire District (Woodside, Vista Verde, Portola Valley, Emerald Hills, Skyline) visit the Woodside Fire District website for information on treatment schedules. 
  • La Honda  - July 29, 30 and 31, 2019

  • Butano Canyon - August 1st, 2019
  • Palomar Park - September 24th, 2019
  • South Skyline communities can visit South Skyline Fire Safe Council’s website for more information on their Chipping Program


    To keep the program running smoothly and safely, there a few easy tips for homeowners participating in this program. Not adhering to the guidelines may result in your pile not being chipped.

    Removing Vegetation: Give yourself a few weekends to do vegetation maintenance around your yard.
    Piling Vegetation: Homeowners are required to pile vegetation in a pile that does not exceed10 ft wide, 10 ft long and 5 ft tall.
    Chipping Schedule: Chipping is scheduled for communities for spring, summer and fall. See above for details on when the chipper visits your neighborhood. Make sure to give yourself enough time to cut and pile your vegetation.



    Create defensible space to about 100 feet from structures & 30 feet from access roads.

    Piles cannot include roots, stumps, rocks and mud.

    Cut ends must face the same direction and point out toward the chipper location.

    Piles cannot include poison oak, Scotch or French broom after it seeds, blackberry and vines.

    Piles must be easily accessible from a private road, driveway, or lane with good access. 

    Piles of leaves, pine needles or yard clippings cannot be chipped

    Piles must be within 8 feet of the road and 5 feet or less in height and about 10 feet long (10x10x5 maximum)

    Piles must be free of all non-vegetative materials (trash, metal, wire, etc).

    Material to be chipped must be less than 8 inches in diameter. 

    This program will not chip for: timber harvest projects, tree farms, new construction or vacant lots.


     IMG 7934  Chipperpiles reduced sizeChipper Program Infomatics pileandWidth



    Who does the chipping? Chipping is done by professional contractors or CAL FIRE crews.

    How do I get a chipping program for my community? The Chipping Program is looking for new communities for 2019 and 2020. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for advice on how you can develop a chipping program for your community. Funding for chipping programs is generally reserved for high priority, fire risk communities.