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Residents throughout Plumas County can participate in the Plumas County Fire Safe Council’s Community Chipping Program. Photo submitted

Fire Safe Council reports successful 2019

Residents can prepare now for 2020

The Plumas County Fire Safe Council’s Community Chipping Program has wrapped up a third year of no-cost chipping services.In 2019 the program chipped piles at 326 locations — 50 percent more than in 2018.

All Plumas County residents were eligible to participate in the CalFire funded program. 

In preparation for chipping, landowners reported 2,316 hours of clearing and piling on their properties.Almost 20 percent of survey respondents indicated that they would have otherwise left the material on site if the program hadn’t incentivized its removal. These numbers represent a significant investment by Plumas County residents to create Defensible Space around their homes and communities.

These efforts meet the goal of the CalFire SRA “Fire Prevention Fund,” to reduce the risk of fire ignition and spread around communities and to educate homeowners about wildfire risks.With shrubs, small trees and large branches cleared and chipped, ladder “fuels” that can carry flames in the trees’ canopy become less of a hazard.

But the benefits are not just a reduction in fire hazards.More than half of the program participants would have otherwise burned the material, and another 20 percent would have transported the green-waste to a transfer station. In either case, chipping as an alternative benefits local air quality.

The chipping program will resume in spring of this year.To participate residents can pile woody green-waste according to the program guidelines and submit an application (available online). The Plumas County Fire Safe Council will then contract a chipping operator on behalf of applicants.Up to 16 linear feet of material can be chipped at no charge.

Residents can prepare now by identifying a community representative willing to provide outreach and program applications to neighbors. The more participants in an area, the greater the hazard reduction is for the entire community. The Fire Safe Council’s chipping program coordinator, Gary Parque, is available to answer questions at 283-0829.

Applications and more information can also be found on the Plumas County Fire Safe Council’s website: plumasfiresafe.org.

The Plumas County Fire Safe Council is a nonprofit organization that holds public meetings on the second Thursday of each month that are attended by citizens, business owners, and representatives from local, state, and federal government agencies, who share a common interest in preventing loss of life and minimizing loss of property from wildland fires.

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