Annual Neighborhood Chipping Program to Begin March 4

On March 4th, the annual chipping program will begin in Montecito. (courtesy)

Montecito Fire Department’s 15th annual Neighborhood Chipping Program will begin March 4, 2024. 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, thanks to the generous support of the Santa Barbara Fire Safe Council and their Cal Fire Community Chipping Grant. The Montecito Neighborhood Chipping Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that invests billions of dollars from the Cap-and-Trade program into projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

On March 4th, the annual chipping program will begin in Montecito. (courtesy)

The Cap-and-Trade program motivates industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments include a diverse range of projects, from affordable housing and renewable energy to public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located in and benefit disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit

Montecito Fire offers the Neighborhood Chipping Program to about 1,750 residents in the community’s Very High Fire Severity Zone. 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 19 roll-off containers that are stationed throughout the community as part of the program.

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.

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.

The 10-week Neighborhood Chipping Program will conclude the week of July 11. 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 one of our Wildland Fire Specialists at 805-680-5526 or


Written by MontecitoFire

Press releases written by the Montecito Fire Protection District. Learn more at

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