El Dorado County Fire Safe Council

The mission of EI Dorado County Fire Safe Council is to protect the people of EI Dorado County and their property from the effects of catastrophic wildfire through education, cooperation, innovation and action.

Chipping Program Details

The EDCFSC has received grant funds to provide chipping services for neighborhoods and individual homeowners on the Western Slope of El Dorado County who are willing to work to make their property fire safe. Please read the instructions below before submitting your “Request for Chipping.”

  1. This program is only available on the Western Slope of El Dorado County. The Tahoe Basin has other programs available and is excluded from our program funding.
  2. Program is limited to two free visits per address per calendar year, resetting every January 1st. Services are at no-cost to the resident.
  3. Program is limited to six hours of chipping per address on one visit. There are no “carry-over” hours. When Contractor leaves site, the service is considered complete.
  4. This program is intended to help you create defensible space (maximum 100 feet or to property line) around your primary residence. It is not to be used for clearing acreage or vacant parcels except when used to comply with the El Dorado County Vegetation Management Ordinance Good Neighbor Policy. This program is also used to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by minimizing burn piles and encouraging chipping services as an alternative.

You must click on and read both sections below before continuing to the application:

Please read the following and have all requirements completed and piles ready to be chipped BEFORE submitting a request. Valuable chipping time and grant money is wasted responding to requests when the material is not ready. If your piles are not ready to be chipped when the chipper arrives it may be some time before the Contractor can return and the chipping time will be reduced to five hours.

  • Please ensure property is accessible and any pets you own are properly secured to support a safe environment for our workers to complete services without harm.
  • The Fire Safe Council contractors do not operate equipment on RED FLAG warning days as determined by the National Weather Service. If you are scheduled for chipping on a day that is a Red Flag warning day you will be rescheduled.
  • If the Contractor cannot get ahold of you, cannot find the piles, or cannot access the piles you’ve prepared, your ticket will be canceled, and you’ll have to resubmit your request.
  • Chips will be broadcast on the property where the chipping is done. We do not haul away or scatter around your property.
  • The time you spend cutting and stacking material for chipping is used for an “in-kind match.” Meeting match requirements for this grant will help us to obtain future funding to continue this program. Please be as accurate as possible in reporting your time.
  • Please do not add more onto your prepared piles after submitting your application. Contractors determine their schedule based off the pile size you’ve listed on your application.
  • If you have utilized our Defensible Space Assistance Program, please select “Post-Defensible Space Request” at the top of the application and select “Defensible Space Crew”” under “Who stacked the piles?”
  • Do not select “Yes” for your application being an organized Community Event unless your local Fire Safe Council has given you a 3-letter code.
  • You do not have to be home for chipping, but if you’d prefer to be home, please inform the Contractor of this when they call to schedule a date and time to come out to complete services. Please allow 2-3 weeks for a Contractor to contact you upon application submission. 
  • We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Mutual respect between residents and all associates contracted with the EDCFSC is essential. Please file all complaints with our Assistance Programs Manager. You may find their contact info on our Contacts Page: edcfiresafe.org/contact/

Your piles should look like the one in the picture below. Improperly stacked or located piles may not be chipped. Improperly stacked piles will result in application denial and loss of chipping time. Contractors will not return until piles have been corrected and your application has been resubmitted.

  • Place brush piles so the chipping machine and crew can have access. Piles need to be adjacent to a driveway, road or street in front of your property in order for the Contractors to easily locate piles. Preferably pile brush on the uphill side. Piles placed in fields will not be chipped. 
  • All the cut ends need to be facing the same direction and facing the driveway, road or street. It is easier and more efficient to chip the piles if they are wider and spread out rather than taller.
  • When placing the brush piles place it in an area that will be out of your way and in a location where there is access for the equipment to turn around.
  • Do not place piles along busy, heavily traveled roadways, where signage or additional crew would be required by County or State Code for safety. This is not covered under the Fire Safe Council’s contract.
  • Keep all piles free of rocks, dirt, wire, lumber, spiny plants, poison oak, blackberries and bamboo. The chipper cannot chip piles of pine needles or leaves. You can dispose of this material in green waste carts available from El Dorado Disposal or in Community Cleanup Green Waste Dumpsters when they are available.
  • Recently removed vegetation will chip better than old dried out branches and shrubs.
  • The chipper can handle material up to 7″ in diameter (no root balls). The equipment does not chip individual branches such as small raking’s or old-decayed wood well.