Prescott Fire Department is a career department in Prescott, Arizona, serving a residential population of more than 40,000.
In 2003 the City of Prescott initiated a curbside chipping program for slash removal as the Prescott Fire Department stood up a Type II Wildland Crew. Since the inception of the program 17 years ago, the department has removed over 4,114 tons of slash from their wildland-urban interface areas.
Every Friday is set aside to offer a free chipping service to residents within the department’s jurisdiction. If a resident can get slash from mitigation efforts on their property to the curb, the department’s fuels crew will bring their chipper by to process the slash for free. This program relieves residents of chipper fees and the need to onload and offload their slash at different locations. The chipping program has been well received by community members, who have been vocal about their appreciation for the department’s efforts. The department has outlined the criteria for the chipper program on their website.
While this program started off with the help of federal funding, it has evolved from a cost-share grant program into a fuels reduction project that the City of Prescott is able to devote general funds to thanks to the demonstrated ‘value-added service’ that has been positively received by its citizens. Prescott Fire Department has continued to diversify its funding for the program by utilizing Title III funding.
To utilize community partnerships and to supplement the departmental staffing dedicated to fuels reduction efforts, the work has been further facilitated by the Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission (PAWUIC), which is comprised of representatives from their jurisdiction’s communities.
Over the past year alone, the department has completed 813 individual prescription chipping jobs that have netted 242.63 tons of debris from homes and other projects. The City of Prescott and Prescott Fire Department remain committed to creating and maintaining defensible space within their boundaries and supporting residents to mitigate their properties.