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Chipper Program Available for Placer County Residents

November 02, 2012

Placer County's Chipper Program provides low-cost brush chipping for residents,

Placer County’s Chipper Program continues to be available for local residents seeking to reduce their fire hazards and improve defensible space around structures. Chipping rather than burning reduces the impact of smoke. Another benefit of chipping is that the woody material can be used for landscaping or ground cover.

The program, managed by the Placer County Resource Conservation District, is a low-cost curbside chipping service, supported in part by state and federal grants. The program also can assist qualified Placer County homeowners with financial or physical limitations to access the chipping program through fee waivers.

Under direction from the Board of Supervisors, the county worked with the Resource Conservation District to establish a reasonable and sustainable cost-share rate structure to keep the program running. The full cost of the chipper service is estimated at $80 per hour. With the applicable cost-share rate, the minimum charge is $40 for up to one hour of service.

The low-cost chipping service is available for Placer County residents who live west of Serene Lakes. Chipping the brush improves air quality by reducing the pollutants that burning puts into the air. State law requires that property owners maintain 30 feet of “clean and green” space immediately around their homes. In addition, state law also requires a total of 100 feet of defensible space clearing around residences.

The requirements of the Chipper Program include:

  • Chipping is limited to residential properties only;
  • Chipping must occur alongside the road or driveway or other areas where crews can work around the vegetation to be chipped;
  • All vegetation to be chipped needs to be placed along the road or driveway edge with the cut ends pointing towards to road; and
  • Stem diameters are limited to 12 inches, at the cut end, and no poison oak or blackberry are permitted;
  • Chipping is completed on a rotational basis throughout Western Placer County; no appointments are made;
  • All chipped vegetation will be blown back on the property; wood chips will not be removed.

To arrange for chipping services or request information, homeowners can call the Chipper Program message center at 530-889-0111, ext 3. Follow the message prompts to leave your name, site address, mailing address (if different from the site address), phone number and location where you would like the chip pile.

The grants used to support the program are secured through a partnership with the District, the Placer County Office of Emergency Services, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the Placer County Air Pollution Control District and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).