logo: Santa Clara County FireSafe Council

Mobilizing the people of Santa Clara County to protect their homes, communities and environment from wildfires

2015 Defensible Space Hazardous Fuel Reduction Programs

The Santa Clara County FireSafe Council has agreements, contributions and federal grants for:Smokey Bear: If Not You, Who?

  1. A Defensible Space Chipping Program for eligible residents, and
  2. A Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) for seniors and/or others with physical and financial limitations which prevent them from preparing for chipping.
For 2015, the eligible Communities at Risk from wildfires are Cupertino, East Foothills, Gilroy, Lexington Hills, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Martin, Saratoga, Stanford, and adjacent fire prone Wildland Urban Interface areas in Santa Clara County.

For more on Defensible Space, see Living With Fire in Santa Clara County.

Applications and information on our programs are below.  Questions?  E-mail us or call (408) 975-9591.

Saratoga: Compliance with City Code Article 15-50 regarding Tree Regulations is required for all work in the City of Saratoga.

Defensible Space Chipping Program

SCFSC will chip brush that has been cleared 100’ from permanent structures and/or 30’ from any roadside or driveway used for evacuation purposes.

Piles to be chipped must be hand stacked.  We cannot chip tractor or front loader stacked piles.  Chipping can only be done along a road or driveway with sufficient access and space for a truck and chipper to turn around.  Questions? Click here or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (408) 975-9591.

Please use our online Chipping Application.  If you have an older Web Browser or problems with this application, you can use the PDF version below.  To report problems, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Or, download the PDF version of our Chipping Application.

Special Needs Assistance Program

SCFSC will provide Defensible Space cleanup and chipping for Santa Clara County residents who are physically unable to clear their property, have no other person to assist in the clearance and cannot afford to hire a contractor to do the work.

Click on Read more to see the Special Needs Assistance Program Requirements.

To apply for this program, please download and complete the Special Needs Assistance Program Application Form.

Questions?  Click here or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (408) 975-9591.

Federal Grant Environmental Clearances

SCFSC Defensible Space Chipping Programs are funded by Federal Grants and other contributions. Environmental clearance are provided by the federal agencies involved in these grants.

General Hazardous Fuel Reduction Guidelines

  • Don’t destroy any active bird nests of any size.
  • Don’t work near any large active nests, such as eagle nests (3-4 feet diameter or more).
  • Work can be done around (greater than 100 feet from) smaller active nests.
  • Limbs and trees with and around inactive nests of any size can be removed.
  • The safest time of the year for vegetation disturbing work is from September through December; the general Breeding-Fledge Season in our area is March through August.
Migratory Birds in Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County Endangered Species
Habitat descriptions and recommendations for chipping and clearing activities where threatened or endangered species may exist.

Safety Considerations

Please observe the following safety precautions when you are creating Defensible Space around your home or preparing material for our Defensible Space Chipping Programs, especially during Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches:

  • Power equipment should be operated only before 10:00 AM or after 6:00 PM (and NEVER during extremely dry conditions).
  • Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation.
  • Be careful to avoid rocks, stones and metal objects which could cause a spark and start a fire.
  • Spark arresters are required in wildland areas on all portable gasoline powered equipment.
  • Keep a hose or water fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Stay 30 minutes after work is complete to ensure no fires have started.

Contact Us

Santa Clara County FireSafe Council

2053 Lincoln Avenue, Suite A
San Jose, CA 95125
Telephone: (408) 975-9591
Fax: (408) 624-9316

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