logo: Santa Clara County FireSafe Council

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

Saratoga Area

The Saratoga Area FireSafe Council (SAFSC) is part of the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council (SCFSC). SCFSC is a non-profit organization composed of individuals, public and private agencies and companies that share a common, vested interest in preventing and reducing losses from wildfires.

2015 Saratoga Defensible Space Chipping Program

March 1, 2015

If you live in the hillside areas rated High or Very High Wildfire Hazard Severity Zone, you are required by law to maintain defensible space around your home. In the event of a wildfire, if you have cleared defensible space, the chances that your home may catch fire are reduced. Also firefighters recognize homes with defensible space are safer for them to defend against an approaching wildfire. CAL FIRE and the Santa Clara County Fire Department send out letters to residents to inform them of the requirements, and also do inspections to confirm compliance.

To encourage defensible space clearing, the Saratoga Area FireSafe Council offers free chipping for residents in these zones for brush and tree trimmings that you have removed from the areas around your home. If you have a lot of material to clear the piles you create can be daunting to haul away. We can help!

The chipping program is available during the spring and is offered in three phases around the hillside neighborhoods.

  • Area 1 (Northwest): Applications due by March 22 for chipping between March 23-April 3. 
  • Area 2 (West): Applications due April 5 for chipping between April 6 and 17. 
  • Area 3 (South): Applications due April 19 for chipping between April 20 and May 1

Please review the 2015 Saratoga Area Chipping Schedule & Service Area Map to confirm your neighborhood is included, and then fill out our online form to request chipping.

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

Funds for the chipping program are provided by the Saratoga Fire District and the City of Saratoga. Because this is a new program we are not certain how many residents will apply and how much the chipping program will cost the Saratoga Area FireSafe Council. To ensure your material will be chipped, please fill out the form as soon as possible before the deadline. This will help us manage the program efficiently and keep costs low so everyone can participate.

Saratoga Pierce Road Fuel Break Project

September 1, 2014

The Saratoga Area FireSafe Council is collaborating with the City of Saratoga, PG&E, and the Mountain Winery to implement a fuel break project on Pierce Road. This effort will help protect lives, homes and the environment in the Wildland Urban Interface Zone of Saratoga. The project will involve removing brush and low tree branches along 0.8 miles of Pierce Road, between Mt. Eden Road and Hwy 9, and will also extend up onto the eastern flank of the mountain to a vineyard near the concert venue. Dead trees will also be removed, as well as a few very combustible blue gum eucalyptus trees. This type of hazardous fuel reduction project is one of the measures called for in the City of Saratoga's Safety Element to help reduce the risk of wildfire.

There will be a public informational meeting for neighbors to learn more about the project on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Mountain Winery; all are welcome to attend. Additionally, we will be posting maps, photos, and other materials describing the project on our project page. You can also contact our Saratoga Area Manager, Patty Ciesla, for more information about this project and other initiatives in the Saratoga area.

Saratoga Residents Invited to Learn More About Fire Prevention

February 1, 2014

Saratoga is one of 14 communities in Santa Clara County that has been identified as being at risk for wildfires. Furthermore, California’s drought has extended the fire season well into winter and puts hillside areas at further risk for wildfire. Properties owners in the Saratoga Wildland Urban Interface Area, the western hillside portion of the Saratoga that is particularly susceptible to wildfire, are invited to a meeting on February 25, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Saratoga Fire Station located at 14380 Saratoga Avenue in Saratoga to learn more about protecting their property from wildfire.

In 2013, the City of Saratoga, Saratoga Fire Protection District, and Santa Clara County FireSafe Council teamed up to provide hazardous fuel reduction services and wildfire awareness education to the properties owners in both the City of Saratoga as well as the Saratoga Fire Protection District.

Learn more about services provided through this collaboration, such as chipping of materials cleared from defensible space, and find out how to become more involved in protecting your community from wildfire at the meeting on February 25, 2014.

Read this announcement on the City of Saratoga Web Site.

Wildfire Education and Free Chipping Services for Saratoga Residents

February 1, 2014

Saratoga is one of 14 communities in Santa Clara County that has been identified as being at risk for wildfires.

Property owners in sections of Saratoga that are particularly susceptible to wildfire are required to establish defensible space by clearing brush and grass around permanent structures and road or driveways used for evacuation purposes. This practice helps slow or stop the spread of wildfire and thereby reduces property damage and loss of life during fires.

To encourage residents to create defensible space in wildfire prone areas of Saratoga, the City along with the Saratoga Fire District will be educating residents about wildfire prevention and offering free chipping of brush cleared from defensible space in compliance with City tree regulations. This service will be provided through the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council, a non-profit organization.

From the Spring 2014 The Saratogan

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


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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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Funding provided by grants from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council. Our programs and other council activities are also funded by grants and donations from local agencies, companies, foundations, organizations and individual donors. Please see our Thank You! and About Us pages for a list of donors and contributors.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this organization is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C, 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.  USDA And Justice for All Poster.

The views and conclusions on this Web site are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the California Fire Safe Council, Santa Clara County FireSafe Council, U.S Forest Service or the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute an endorsement by the California Fire Safe Council, the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council or the U.S. Government.