Community Chipping Program

Participating in the Home Assessment is required to receive services through our Community Chipping Program. If you have used this service before, please read this page thoroughly as our program as changed.

Maintaining the legally required 100 feet of defensible space around your property can be a challenge for homeowners. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your property by thinning and trimming hazardous brush, you are often left with large piles of dry vegetation, which can themselves become a fire hazard.

That is why we created our Community Chipping Program for residents living in high fire risk properties in San Diego County. Once you’ve done the hard work of preparing the space, our contractors come out and chip the cleared vegetation for you, free of charge. The chips are left with you and can be used as a weed suppressing mulch on your property.


How to participate in the Community Chipping Program:

  • Participate in our Home Assessment Program and let staff know that you are interested in participating in a Community Chipping Day.
  • During your assessment, staff will examine any piles you already have ready in order to give our contractors the information they need to conduct the chipping service.
  • Create your defensible space and stage vegetation within 5 feet of your curbside or driveway, needs to be extremely visible, ideally from the main road or driveway.
  • Our contractor will give you a call to let you know what day they will be coming by.
  • Receive free chipping service!

Preparing for the crew’s arrival:

  • Brush that has been cleared or stacked with heavy equipment will not be chipped.
  • Debris MUST originate from your defensible space zone. Our crews only spend 1-2 hours at each chipping location.
  • Material including, but not limited to, palm, succulents, and poison oak will not be chipped.
  • Old, matted stickers and/or lumber are not eligible for chipping.
  • Brush must be free of mud, rocks, and other debris.
  • Maximum six-inch diameter on cut limbs.
  • Piles must be stacked no more than six feet high, cut ends facing the chipper access area, and be staged within 5 feet from your driveway, roadway, or curb.

New this year! We have created 12 geographic subregions to increase efficiency and wait times for our program. When you sign up for your free Home Assessment, schedule your assessment based on the weeks assigned to your Zone. The following dates are when chipping services will be available, but the home assessment schedule is on the HAP page and embedded in the Zone Map.

Zone 1 2/12-2/23 Zone 2 2/26-3/8
Zone 4 3/11-3/22 Zone 5 3/25-4/5
Zone 6 4/8-4/19 Zone 7 4/22-5/3
Zone 8 5/6-5/17 Zone 9 5/20-5/31
Zone 3 6/3-6/14 Zone 10 6/17-6/28
Zone 11 7/1-7/12 Zone 12 7/5-7/26


Please Note:

  • The Community Chipping Program for fuel reduction is offered in targeted communities and are subject to availability of funding. Communities may be added or removed without notice.
  • This program is funding dependent, and we are currently accepting new applicants. 
  • The Community Chipping Program is administered by the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County in partnership with the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County. Funding is provided by San Diego Gas and Electric. 
  • In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.