Chipper Program

FIRESafe MARIN Chipper

NEW for 2018!  FIRESafe MARIN will allocate chipper funds on a matching basis ($1500 limit) only to recognized FIREWISE neighborhoods and communities, or those who are actively seeking recognition.

FIRESafe MARIN, through a variety of grant and local funding sources, offers "Chipper Awards" that allow us to assist communities, homeowner's associations, fire departments, and individual landowners with vegetation-fuel reduction to reduce wildfire hazards in Marin.  

When funding is available, we typically offer matching grants (up to $1500) to help fund "Chipper Days" in Marin neighborhoods, where a chipper and crew will help residents dispose of cut vegetation.  $1500 typically covers the cost of one day of chipper and truck rental, and a full crew to operate.


Q: The Chipper Day instructions say only fresh cut branches. My biggest fire risk is the deadwood that falls from the trees during the winter. Do you have a suggestion what I can do with these old, dry branches?

A:  In some cases, they can be chipped, but the chipper operator needs to decide if it's safe.  Big logs and dry wood should usually be disposed of un a debris box, or tree services will haul it away for a small fee.


UPDATE: January 24, 2018

FIRESafe MARIN has secured funding for its 2018 chipper program.  Matching grants of up to $1500 may be awarded only to recognized FIREWISE neighborhoods or neighborhoods actively seeking recognition.

Click Here to Submit Application Online

Projects will be ranked by FIRESafe MARIN’s selection committee according to the following criteria:

Overall criteria:

  1. Projects must be in a recognized Firewise neighborhood or community (or one actively seeking Firewise recognition).
  2. FIRESafe MARIN will provide a 50% match, up to $1500, or another amount at the discretion of FIRESafe MARIN based on funds availability.
  3. Priority will be given to projects that meet these criteria and:
    1. Projects that will reduce fuel conditions in areas of high risk for extreme wildfire behavior.
    2. Projects that take place in areas that have a high number of SOD dead trees.
    3. Fuel reduction projects the have an impact on fire risk at the neighborhood scale.
    4. Neighborhood projects that show solid commitments from as many participants as is possible.
    5. Projects that help those who are elderly, disabled and low-income.
    6. Projects that have long term maintenance plan.
    7. Projects that provide matching funds in excess of 50%.

Project criteria:

  1. Maximum fuels reduction for minimal investment.
  2. A 50% (minimum) match is required.
    1. Match can be accomplished by cash (you pay 50% of the cost) or by meticulously documenting and calculating the value of volunteer hours, including in many cases the hours homeowners spend cleaing vegetation on their property.  FIRESafe MARIN must supply forms for documentation, and will review for completeness before releasing payment.
  3. Projects that result in complete compliance for defensible space requirements under state law (PRC 4291). 
  4. Projects that show a plan for vegetation maintenance into future.
  5. Projects that lead to further fire safe activities; i.e., neighborhood educational projects; formation of firewise neighborhoods; formation of disaster planning committees, etc. 
  6. Projects that have well defined tasks and strong commitments from those who will take responsibility for them—i.e. reporting, communicating with grant administrator, etc.

We do not expect that all projects will satisfy all of the criteria; points will be awarded for each criterion. The more points you have, the higher you score, so keep the criteria in mind as you fill out  your application.

Program funds and Defensible Space:

Funds can be used to remove fuels from the 100’ defensible space radius that surrounds homes and to clear vegetation back from access roads. We will expect that funds will be spent on projects that, in the end, will result in one or more homes that meet defensible space requirements set forth in Public Resource Code 4291.

Learn more about creating defensible space, or feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or your local fire department representative for information.


  1. Provide a final report within two weeks after project completion.
  2. Provide FIRESafe MARIN with Photos: before/after.
  3. Mail final progress report to: FIRESafe MARIN, PO Box 2831, San Anselmo, CA 94978
  4. A 50% match is required.
    1. Match can be accomplished by cash (you pay 50% of the cost) or by meticulously documenting and calculating the value of volunteer hours, including in many cases the hours homeowners spend cleaing vegetation on their property.

Click Here to Submit Application Online

It is the policy of FIRESafe MARIN to provide equal opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual preference, age, or disability. Thank you for completing this application form and for your interest our chipper award program.

Funding for the 2014-2016 Chipper Program was provided in part by the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council.

In accordance with federal law and USDA policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  Not all prohibited basis apply to all programs.

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.

The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the California Fire Safe Council, U.S. Forest Service or the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement by the California Fire Safe Council or U.S. Government.

FIRESafe MARIN   |   P.O. Box 2831  |   San Anselmo, CA 94979   |

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