Chipping Program

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. 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.

Program Criteria
  • The crew will chip up to a maximum of 3 hours on a single visit. This is approximately a pile 50’ long, 3 feet high and 10’ wide. There is a high demand for this service among Napa County.
  • Residents may submit subsequent requests during the chipping season (March – October).
  • This program is designed to support homeowners chip vegetation for their 100’ defensible space around structures and access routes. ALL OTHER REQUESTS WILL BE DENIED SERVICE.
  • The maximum individual pile size is 50 feet long, 3 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, to enable tracking of material volume chipped and labor hours.
  • All piles must be placed along a road accessible by truck and chipper. Piles must also be safely accessible by the chipping crew; far enough away from a main road, highway, and moving traffic for the chipping crew to safely work.
  • Piles are required to remain on the home owner’s property and not on public roadways.
  • 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 iteself. Stringy vine type brush, such as poison oak, construction materials, leaves, grass clippings, etc. are not allowed as they 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.

*** DO NOT use wood chips as decorative landscaping. All wood chips will be left on the property premises and must be kept at a distance of 100' from all structures.

Though the program is provided free to residents, the service does come at a cost which is borne by Napa County Fire Department. The program is not a land owner entitlement but a community service.

The Napa County Fire Chipping Program is completed for the 2023 season. Please continue clearing your residential defensible space and sign-up for free chipping starting April 2024.

Currently chipping crews are working 5 days a week. Due to the large number of request there is a 4 to 6 week waiting period. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

All requests submitted before the closing date will be chipped.