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

Next Meeting

Santa Clara County FireSafe Council Monthly Meeting

August 20, 2019

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Saratoga Fire District Headquarters

14380 Saratoga Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070-5953


Santa Clara County FireSafe Council’s Wildfire Evacuation Workshop

This 60-90 minute small group workshop is for neighborhoods and neighbors to learn about wildfire evacuation preparedness, planning, resources and execution in their area. Get to know your neighbors and help each other to be safer! This adult oriented workshop is available to be scheduled for your neighborhood, HOA, school or other group.

speaker giving a presentation

people seated at tables talking with each other

Request a Wildfire Evacuation Workshop (WEW) using our Smokey Bear visit request form (choose "Wildfire Evacuation Workshop" as the event type), or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wildfire Evacuation Workshop: Sample General Agenda:

(Subject to change based on data available for the specific neighborhoods or area locations.)

  1. Neighbor and presenter Introductions
  2. Workshop Goals (PowerPoint presentation):
    1. Defensible Space and Ember Aware Concepts
    2. Ready, Set Go Action Plan Checklists
    3. Emergency Kit give away, contents review and checklist
    4. Begin to assemble your “Go Bag”, demo bag and contents review/discussion
    5. Go over your community evacuation map
    6. Create your family emergency plan
    7. How to add self to reverse 911, SCCAlert
  3. Question and Answer:
    1. Questions
    2. Opportunity to trade info with attendees
    3. Additional resources
people seated at tables talking with each other

Thank you for Registering

Thank you for registering for our first annual awards dinner! We will see you on April 8th.

Return to the Recognition Dinner page.

Smokey with Brian and friends, at Los Gatos Girl Scouts Spring event 2016.

Countywide CWPP Final Draft - TOC

Main Document


Chapter 1- Mt Hamilton and San Antonio Valley
Chapter 2- Stanford University

Appendices to the Main Document

Santa Clara County Wildfire Protection Plan - Appendices see Appendices TOC on page xv of the main document

Countywide CWPP (final draft)

CWPP cover image

The Santa Clara County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is now available for public use.  We invite community members to review the main CWPP document, the appendices, as well as individual annexes that have been drafted for agency specific and/or community specific planning and wildfire preparedness.  The document is split into several PDF files.  You may access the files from this page.

It should be noted that this is a live document, meaning that it will be regularly reviewed and updated by the Core Team of Agency Stakeholders; the public will be invited to participate in future revisions so we encourage you to stay engaged in this process.

En Español

Bienvenidos al sitio de la red del Consejo de Salvo de Incendio del Condado de Santa Clara donde informamos a dueños de casas, edificios, y miembros de la comunidad de las mejores prácticas para hacer posible sobrevivir incendios.

Movilizando a la gente del condado de Santa Clara para proteger sus hogares, comunidades y el medio ambiente de los fuegos devastadores

Aunque este sitio de la red está escrito en inglés, hay muchos publicaciónes y más sitios en la red que ofrecen información de estar salvo de incendios en español. Esperamos que dentro de la lista disponible que Ustedes puedan encontrar la información necesitada para mantener sus casas salvo de incendios:

defensible space es400

Defensible Space Chipping Program


Chipping PileThe 2019 Chipping Program has concluded. Please check back in February for the 2020 Chipping Program Schedule.

Chipping Program Limitations:

Eligible properties:

  • Property must be located in Wildland-Urban Interface areas (foothills and mountains). We do not provide chipping in urban areas.
  • Property must be in a Wildfire Hazard Zone.
  • Property must have a house on it. We do not provide chipping to clear empty lots or undeveloped land. If your house is near your property line and you want to clear defensible space on your neighbor's parcel, contact us if you would like assistance in requesting permission.
  • Properties with extremely steep or narrow or dirt driveways may not be eligible. Chipping can only be done along a road or driveway with sufficient access and space for a truck and chipper to safely turn around, and park safely to perform the chipping without creating a hazard or blocking others. You may have to bring your material to a community chipping pile location. Contact us if you have questions.

Material limitations:

  • Our free chipping program only serves material removed to create defensible space within 100 feet of structures (up to 200' on downhill side) and to provide safe fire engine ingress and evacuation egress by clearing hazardous fuels from within 30 feet of and 14 feet over your driveway or roadside.
  • Small piles are extremely expensive to chip per unit volume, so consider putting small amounts in your regular yard waste containers to be disposed of by your waste removal company. Piles should be too large to fit in your yard-waste containers over a 4 week period (and usually it takes 3 weeks between when you prepare your pile and our chipper can get to it, so keep that in mind.)
  • We cannot provide free chipping for extremely large piles due to grant limitations. If you are clearing years of overgrowth to create defensible space on your property and generate large amounts of material, we can provide a cost-sharing agreement to subsidize your total chipping costs. Contact us for information if your piles measure more than 4x8x60.
  • No pieces over 80 pounds or more than 12" in diameter. One person should be able to lift each piece and it needs to fit into the chipper opening. Contact us if you need to dispose of old firewood piles or large windthrown or dead trees.
  • NO timber harvest debris, or agricultural prunings from orchards or vineyards. NO tractor or loader stacked piles that contain dirt and are difficult to pull apart by hand.
  • NO piles of leaves, pine needles, thistles, and weedy yard clippings. Chipping piles should be woody debris from trees and shrubs.
  • NO painted wood, pressure treated wood, plywood or OSB, no nails, screws, wire, trash, etc.
  • NO roots, stumps, rocks, mud, blackberry vines, palm fronds, cactus, and bamboo. Also, NO poison oak or broom with seeds. See below.

How to, and how not to, stack your piles:

  • 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.
  • Don't stack piles within your defensible space. If our chipping service is delayed you don't want dry brush right next to your home during fire season.
  • Piles must be stacked by hand with all cut ends facing the same direction toward the access route. Forked branches should be cut at forks so they can fit in the chute.
  • Piles must be within 5 feet of a local road or driveway, and preferrably on the uphill side. If you need to stack below the road, contact us for instructions.
  • Please do not stack on high-speed roads/highways, chipper crews do not set up traffic control. If they can't safely park to perform the chipping the pile will not be chipped.
  • Do not hide poison oak in your chipping pile. Chipping poison oak will spray oils in the air and can cause terrible rashes and injury to workers. The chips can also cause a rash to people and pets who walk on them. If you need to remove poison oak keep it separate from the rest of your piles and contact us. Some contractors can haul it off.
  • If you need to remove Scotch or French broom, it should be cut or pulled prior to the flowers setting seed. Broom with intact seed heads creates chips that cannot be broadcast as mulch unless disposed of exactly where previously seed producing plants were growing. The seeds need to be kept within the area of infestation. Contact us if you have seedy broom in your pile so we can prevent its spread around your property or the county.
  • If you start to build your pile in winter or early spring, there is a possibility birds will build a nest in it. Take some time to look at your pile and watch for birds flying into or out of the pile. Let us know if you suspect a nest.
  • All material chipped will be blown back onto the property. The chips can be used for mulch. If you need to have chips hauled off, contact us for information.

Special Needs Assistance Program

NOTE: Special Needs Assistance may be limited due to limited availability of grant funds. 

Submitting an application does not guarantee that assistance will be provided.

Assistance may not be available or may not be sufficient to achieve adequate defensible space. Applicants may need to contribute financially (cost-share) to achieve completed defensible space clearance. 

Please contact us before applying.

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.

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

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

SNAP Program Requirements:

  • Over 65 years old, or
  • Physically Disabled (verified by receiving disability, handicap placards for vehicles, etc.)
  • Financially unable to hire a contractor and under these low income guidelines:
    • 1 person: $40,000/year ($3,333/month), or
    • 2 people: $50,000/year ($4,167/month)
  • Physically unable to create and maintain their Defensible Space on their own.
  • SCFSC will work with the homeowner to determine the clearing that will be done. The amount of work to be done cannot exceed two days of work for the clearing/chipping crew.
  • All material chipped will be blown back onto the property (unless otherwise arranged with SCFSC and the contractor). The chips can be used for mulch.

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


Contact Us

Santa Clara County FireSafe Council

14380 Saratoga Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070-5953
Telephone: (408) 975-9591

Contact Directory

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