The chipping program will begin accepting applications on February 22, 2021.
Though the program is provided free to residents, the service does come at a cost that is borne by NCFF and NCFD. The program is not a land owner entitlement but a community service by a non-profit organization.
The Napa County Fire Department (NCFD) provides a free chipping service to all Napa County residents who live in a designated fire hazard zone – meaning most all of rural Napa. Below is a brief description of the program and a link to sign up. The chipping program typically starts in late Spring at which time a link and information will be provided here. The intent of the program is to encourage residents to comply with defensible space requirements of both the State and County, in addition to being Firewise. The program is not intended for commercial activities or general land clearing.
Napa County Defensible Space Code calls for the removal of dead and dying woody surface and aerial fuels within 100 feet from structures. This requirement is intended to eliminate vegetation that would readily burn near buildings including trees, bushes, shrubs, and plants that are dead or have a lot of dead branches, leaves, or needles. Within this Reduced Fuel Zone around structures, plant litter can’t be more than 3 inches deep on top of the soil, including leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, branches, grasses, low and medium shrubs, seedlings, downed logs, and wood chips. For more information on Napa County Defensible Space Guidelines (May 2021) visit the County of Napa website.
- The maximum individual pile size is 50 feet long, 6 feet high by 10 feet wide (deep).
- There is no limit to the number of piles one can have chipped in a season. Each pile requires a separate chipping request, even if being requested at the same time.
- All piles must be placed along a road accessible by truck and chipper. Piles must also be safely accessible by the chipping crew
- Piles should be stacked cut end (butt) towards the road for ease of grasping for chipping.
- Stem diameter is limited to a maximum of 6 inches.
- No mechanically piled brush by tractor or dozer will be chipped.
- Piles must be limited to brush and tree limbs from the property itself. Stringy vine type brush, such as poison oak, construction materials, leaves, grass clippings, etc. may foul or damage the chipper.
- The free chipping service is for residential use only and not for a commercial enterprise.
- If you need assistance in preparing piles to be chipped, it is recommended that you contact a tree service or landscape maintenance company.
- The chipping crew makes the final determination as to whether a pile complies with the aforementioned requirements and are safe to be chipped.
- COMPLY WITH NAPA COUNTY CODE
To maintain defensible space, you must spread out the wood chips left on your premises AT LEAST 100 FEET AWAY FROM ALL STRUCTURES and no higher than 3 INCHES DEEP.
NO BURNED TREES OR LIMBS FOR CHIPPING
These materials present a safety hazard if chipped due to the airborne dust that can be created in the process. Due to this potential hazard, burnt or charred material will not be chipped by our program. It is suggested that the material be taken to a waste site or removed by private contractor. Debris boxes are also an alternative.