Fuel Reduction Programs

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2014 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 2014, the eligible Communities at Risk from wildfires are East Foothills, Gilroy, Lexington Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, San Martin, Saratoga, San Jose, 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call (408) 975-9591. Please submit applications as early as possible this year.  Our funds are limited and we may have to stop accepting applications in some areas in mid-2014 like we did last year.

Lexington Hills: Lexington Hills Chipping Schedule. We won’t start Chipping in Lexington Hills until this schedule starts.

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

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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.  E-mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if questions.

Try our new online Chipping Application.  If you have an older Web Browser or problems with this this application, please 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.

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More Information

Download a PDF description of our Fuel Reduction Programs.

After your project is completed, use our new online Fuel Reduction Satisfaction Survey to let us know how we did.

Or, if you prefer, download our Fuel Reduction Programs Satisfaction Survey (PDF File) to let us know how we did.

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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.
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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.

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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.

Lexington Hills Environmental Clearances

The Lexington Hills Hazardous Fuel Reduction Environmental Clearance Summary below illustrates and provides references for additional environmental considerations for our Lexington Hills grants. The next two links are the Lexington Hills environmental clearance documents.

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Santa Clara County FireSafe Council

Telephone: (408) 975-9591
Fax: (408) 624-9316

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