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

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

Lexington Hills

2016 Lexington Hills Chipping Schedule

Chipping Program and Application

Contact a Lexington Hills Area Manager Gretchen Hayes
Community Dates Project Type
Hutchinson/Summit west of Hwy 17 April 10-18 At Home
Villa Del Monte April 10-18 At Home
Brush Rd/Hillside Dr April 10 - 18 At Home
 Chemeketa Park April 17-25  Community Pile
Lupin Lodge April 17-25 Community Pile
Redwood Lodge Rd April 24 - May 2 At Home
Summit Rd/Melody Ln/Mtn. Charlie Rd April 24 - May 2 At Home
Summit Woods April 24 - May 2 At Home
Gillette/Call of the Wild/Idylwild April 24 - May 2 At Home
Redwood Estates (Day 1) April 30 Drive-Up
Beardsley/Black/Thompson/Gist Rds May 1-9 At Home
Montevina Rd May 1-9 At Home
Bear Creek Rd/Bear Creek Stables May 1-9 At Home
Soda Springs Rd May 15-23 At Home
Redwood Estates (Day 2) May 21 Drive-up
Aldercroft Heights May 22-31 Community Pile  & At  Home
Highland/Longridge/Stetson Rds May 22-31 At Home
Oakmont/Wright Dr May 22-31 Community Pile & At Home
Loma Prieta School Rds between LDS & Catholic Churches May 29 Drive-up & At Home

Drive-up: Bring cut fuel to a specific location and chipping is done on the spot.

Community Pile: Specific areas will be designated to drop off cut fuel. Chipping is done after the end date.

At Home: Chipping is done house to house. Participants must submit chipping application 1 week prior to end date.

Please follow the SCFSC checklist on the Chipping Application when preparing your piles.

Do not add additional material to piles after the end date.

The lack of rain this winter has significantly increased the fire danger in our mountain communities.  It is the time of year to prepare for wildfire season and create 100’ of Defensible Space around your home. Not only does this help protect your home in the case of a wildland fire, it also helps protect our community as a whole.

The FireSafe Council is offering free chipping again this spring. In this month’s issue of MNN, there is a description of our free chipping and a chipping application. The chipping is free and follows our regular chipping program requirements:

¨  Cut ends must face the same direction and point out toward the chipper location.

¨  Piles must be located on the uphill side of the road or driveway.

¨  Piles must be within 5 feet of the chipper location and less than 4 feet in height.

¨  Limbs must be less than 8 inches in diameter.

¨  Piles must be hand stacked and free of all roots, stumps, rocks and mud.

¨  Piles must be free of poison oak, Scotch broom after it seeds, blackberry and vines.

¨  SCFSC contractor cannot chip piles of leaves, pine needles or yard clippings.

¨  Piles must be free of all non-vegetative materials (trash, metal, wire, etc).

¨  SCFSC cannot chip timber harvest debris or material from orchards or vacant lot

¨  Piles need to be complete by end date

¨  Be aware that using power tools near dry vegetation can ignite a fire.  Have water nearby.

  We won’t be able to accept late applications.

Please include your phone number and/or email address so that we can notify you of the date that chipping will occur on your property. We thought it might help to understand how our process works. Let’s use a Villa Del Monte (VDM) at-home chipping project as an example:

  1. Turn in your chipping application by April 11th, one week before the end date listed on the schedule. If you turn in your application after the project end date, April 18th, we will not be able to accept your application.

  2. Don’t add to the chipping pile(s) after the end date, i.e. April 18th for VDM. This is because the contractor comes to evaluate the amount of work to be done and give us a bid. If the piles increase after the contractor evaluation and bid, then we have to redo the bids. This makes for a delay for all. Remember bidding takes time.

  3. Contractor scheduling: After bids are received and the project granted, the project needs to get onto a contractor’s schedule.  We anticipate the chipping to be done within several days of the end date on the schedule. For VDM, the target date for the chipping to take place is April 19 – 26.  We do our best to get the work done as soon as possible but sometimes there are delays due to weather because we can’t chip when it is too dry or windy.  Of course, our drive-up programs take place on the days listed with no brush drop off beforehand. We appreciate your cooperation and patience in helping complete these important projects for our community.

We’d also like to remind you to consider other fire-safe steps including cleaning out your gutters, sweeping debris off your decks and underneath stairs, making at least 10’ of clearance around your propane tank and keeping trees at least 10’ up off your roof and sides of your house or structure. 

We Appreciate Your Support

All of the FireSafe Council's work this year in the Santa Cruz Mountain area is being funded by local contributions. In the past, we have received funding from Federal Grants. We expect few if any Federal Grants in the future. Our funding comes from homeowners, homeowner associations, large land owners and local government agencies. 

Over the last seven years our programs have grown from helping a few dozen homeowners to helping several hundred. With several years of very dry weather and a dramatic increase in wildfires both locally and statewide, it is more important than ever for each of us to make sure we have Defensible Space around our homes - before the next wildfire. We expect the demand for our programs to continue growing. We need your ongoing support. The suggested donation is $25 to $100 depending on the amount of chipping that needs to be done. Larger donations are gratefully appreciated and go toward making all of our community safer.

Contact a Lexington Hills Area Manager:  Gretchen Hayes

Broom Pullers Available

broom puller holding weed by the base and leveraging it up
"Puller Bear" weed wrench grasps weed by the base allowing homeowner to lever out the weed by its roots. Photo from pullerbear.com website

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has donated eight Broom pullers — tools used to remove this invasive species from properties — to the Santa Clara County Fire Safe Council.

Redwood Estates Services Association (RESA) has volunteered to administer the loan of six small and two large pullers to residents of the Lexington Hills CWPP (Community Wildfire Protection Plan) and to any of our mountain neighbors.

If you’ve never used a broom puller, you can visit the manufacturer’s website pullerbear.com to view this tool in action.

Please contact the RESA Operations Manager, Jeff Bates, at the RESA office, (408) 353-1866, or e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule the pickup and return of this handy tool.

About French Broom and Scotch Broom

French broom and Scotch broom are exotic and invasive shrubs that displace native forage species, are toxic, burn readily and carry fire to the tree canopy layer.

Plant with yellow flowers and green clover-like leaves.  Inset shows pea-like pods
French broom (Genista monspessulana), showing blossoms, leaves and fruit. Photo by Toni Corelli
Small leafy plant
Young French broom. Photo by Toni Corelli
Scotch broom showing blossoms
Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius ssp. scoparius), showing blossoms, leaves and fruit. © Neal Kramer

Contact Us

Santa Clara County FireSafe Council

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

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