Chipper Days began in 2015 as Chipper Week, with an overwhelming 117 participants stacking piles along our roads. Big piles. One was a densely packed 12’-wide pile that took half a day to chip. As the first such event, many of us had a backlog of brush and branches. We’d just learned about the Firewise Program and we were excited to have this new benefit from paying our MCA dues, assisted by grant funding the MCA received. Chipper Week extended to a total of ten days.
The same year, we applied to become one of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s Firewise USA sites, which made us eligible to receive grant funding. To remain a member in good standing, our community needs to hold a yearly event, which we now call Chipper Days and an educational Firewise event, as well as devote at least 600 hours annually to local Firewise actions, which can include time residents spend on pruning, removing debris and cleaning our rooves.
In 2020, 57 families participated, creating 66 piles and devoting 1292 hours to Firewise activities. Over the past six years, a total of 199 families have participated in Chipper Days with a total of 385 piles chipped, reducing wildfire fuels and thus making our community safer for all of us.