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Annual Neighborhood Chipping Program to begin February 13

By Christina Atchison
Feb 09, 2023 at 04:14 PM

Chipping 2023 sign

MONTECITO, CA – Montecito Fire Department’s 14th annual Neighborhood Chipping Program will begin Feb. 13, 2023. This important fire prevention and preparedness program assists community members with increasing defensible space ahead of high wildfire season.

This residential, curbside chipping program supports property owners as they create defensible space and reduce vegetation within 100 feet of their homes.  Residents may stack cut vegetation on their curb to be chipped and hauled to a recycling center by our designated contractor, Eco Tree Works. We encourage and will offer guidance to residents on how best to trim back vegetation along driveways and roadways to create safer evacuation routes for the community and better access for first responders.

The Neighborhood Chipping Program is expanding this year. An additional 91 residences were added to the program in 2023 by including the properties on Picacho Lane, Stone Meadow Lane, Green Meadow Road, Alcala Lane, Delzura Drive and Camino Viejo.

Montecito Fire offers the Neighborhood Chipping Program to approximately 1,600 residents within the Very High Fire Severity Zone of the community. Reducing the volume of flammable vegetation creates more defensible and survivable space around a property and increases the entire community’s resiliency to wildfires.  

In advance of the program, residents were mailed a postcard with specific dates work will be done in each selected neighborhood. The postcard provides instructions for homeowners, including their responsibilities for cutting the vegetation, how and where to place cut material and what material cannot be chipped (vines, grass, palms, succulents, firewood, other small trimmings). Those materials may be disposed of in any of the 21 roll-off containers that are stationed throughout the community as part of the program. 

Chipping pile 2023

Montecito Fire has an Interactive Neighborhood Chipping Map on that allows community members to type in their address to learn the start date of chipping in their neighborhood.  

Click here for more details about the Neighborhood Chipping Program

Local chipping contractor, Eco Tree Works, will work alongside Montecito Fire’s Wildland Specialists to chip material and facilitate the “Tag & Trim” portion of the program. Low-hanging branches are identified, or “tagged,” by the Fire Department during routine neighborhood inspections. Eco Tree Works will remove, or “trim,” the flagged branches. Clearing these areas improves access for fire engines while also making it safer for residents to evacuate during an emergency.

Chipping crew 2023

The 10-week Neighborhood Chipping Program will conclude the week of June 16. Community members may schedule a complimentary Defensible Space Survey with a member of the Montecito Fire Prevention Bureau by calling 805-969-7762.

For media questions regarding the Neighborhood Chipping Program, please contact Public Information Officer Christina Favuzzi at 805-680-5526 or [email protected].


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