Safer West County is working hard to secure funds for our area from state, county, and federal governments and other organizations to reduce community risks (fire and other) and to improve our emergency preparedness for when disasters occur. We are working to identify grants and any other resources to help make it easier for our communities to access resources to lower the costs of the work ahead of us as we steward our homes, forests, and waterways. We partner with local fire departments and other organizations.

Together, let’s make our communities safer!

Safer West County chipper grant project


Safer West County and Fire Safe Sonoma received a CALFIRE grant to support west county communities in creating and maintaining defensible space. The grant includes the purchase of chippers leased to local fire departments in:

  • Camp Meeker,
  • Forestville, 
  • Monte Rio, and
  • Occidental.

Our goal is to help residents do more fuel reduction work without the cost of renting chippers or hiring companies to do the chipping or burning materials. 

Key contributors

Your local fire department crew will be doing the actual chipping. Your local Fire Safe Council is orchestrating requests for chipping by neighborhood to help the crew be as efficient as possible with their work. 

Get involved

If you are interested in helping organize your neighborhood and surrounding community, please reach out to There are many ways to get involved—both big and small, to ensure this valuable asset best serves your area.

FAQs here

Please read these full terms of program before applying.

Key points

  • There is no cost for this program.
  • You can use our interactive map of the Safer West County Chipper Project Area to see if your location is within the project area.
  • The Fire Department crew will transport the chippers and handle all the chipping.
  • All chips will be left on site unless you arrange to haul
  • Volunteers are welcome and can speed the work and get more done by hauling debris closer to the fire crew when piles are not directly next to a street. 
  • Work Parties: You can also create work parties along neighborhood roadsides doing limbing and trimming while fire crews chip the debris to improve evacuation routes. If you would like to partner with your fire department to host a Work Party, please contact for help arranging an event.
  • Priority will be given to neighborhoods that have. multiple property owners participating—so gather your neighbors together! (Each property needs to apply separately.)
  • Other than prearranged work parties with chippers, all piles must be completed prior to application for chipping to help us orchestrate the work.

Your Fire Safe group will be your contact for this program, NOT the fire department. If you need information, beyond what is provided here and on your application form, please email us at

Because the fire department crews are chipping in between their other important responsibilities, we cannot give you exact dates when chipping will occur in your area; however, your local Fire Safe group will coordinate your area’s work and try to give you approximate dates when possible.

Here is how to create piles.

Calfire SWC & FSS incentive grant project

Information on this portion of the grant will be available shortly.

Chipping beyond Calfire grant boundaries

Sonoma County offers a Curbside Chipper Program and accepts residential applications here. The service supports residents of unincorporated Sonoma County in creating defensible space around their homes and neighboring roadsides and reduces vegetation along access routes.

The Curbside Chipper Program operates from May through November (dependent on weather) and is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

After submitting a complete application, Permit Sonoma will provide up to two hours of complimentary chipping which, on average, is enough time to process a pile of vegetation that is approximately 50 feet long, 3 feet tall, and 8 feet wide.

In 2021, Permit Sonoma completed a total of 465 jobs assisting property owners as they reinforced defensible space around their homes.

“Permit Sonoma’s free Curbside Chipper Program is a great way for residents to reduce their costs as they clear defensible space around their property,” said Fire Marshal Steve Mosiurchak. “The chipper program is one of Permit Sonoma’s most popular programs, so we are encouraging residents to apply as soon as possible.”

In the event of a wildfire, having 100 feet or more of defensible space can help save homes. Likewise, thinning vegetation on access roads can make travel and access safer for residents and first responders. The free chipper service can help residents dispose of woody debris and assist in creating beautiful, healthy, and fire-resilient landscapes around homes and on roadsides.

To learn more about the program guidelines and how to apply, property owners in the unincorporated Sonoma County may visit Permit Sonoma’s Curbside Chipper Program webpage:

Past Grants