HAYWARD -- To encourage Hayward hills residents to protect their homes against wildfires by clearing vegetation, the city will chip tree and shrub limbs and other cuttings for free.

The Hayward Fire Department's "No Cost Residential Chipper Service" either will haul off the chipped material or, if residents want, leave it for erosion control, landscaping or weed control.

The city has designated the area east of Mission Boulevard and south of D Street a high fire area, said Fire Marshal Andrew Westfield. "This is a response to the Oakland hills fire in 1992. We're very aggressive with weed abatement there," he said.

The chipper service is available on a first-come-first-served basis to Hayward and Fairview residents for six weeks, from Aug. 19 through Sept. 27. To register, go to www.hayward-ca.gov/City-Government/Departments/Fire or call the city's Fire Prevention Office at 510-583-4900.

Residents are required to clear dry grass and low branches at least 30 feet from their homes, or in some cases, up to 100 feet, Westfield said.

In the first half of this year, more than 4,200 wildfires burned over 70,000 acres, statewide, a 50 percent increase over an average year, according to Cal Fire.

-- Rebecca Parr, Staff



Advertisement