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Park City Fire District wood chipping service now available

Park City Fire District
Free wood chipping services will be available until early fall.

The Park City Fire District’s wood chipping program is back for the summer.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet. Your yard might need some freshening up, too.

Luckily for homeowners in the Park City area, registration for the Park City Fire District’s wood chipping program is now open.

The program allows property owners to gather up their fallen tree branches and other wood fuel and have it taken care of by the fire district.

Fire Marshall Mike Owens says the program usually cleans up 1,200-1,300 wood piles from local yards each year. He says the district received a lot of inquiries about the project after last August’s Parleys Canyon fire and expects demand to only increase this year.

“We did have a lot of interest right after the Parleys fire happened, and we anticipate that interest continuing through this summer, especially in the areas that are a little bit off the beaten path," says Owens. "We’ve seen a lot of registrations already.” 

Any single-family residence inside of the Park City Fire District’s service area is eligible for the program, which is free. Multi-family and commercial properties will not be able to register their wood piles with the fire district.

Homeowners with wood piles will need to fill out a brief registration form to get on the chipping schedule. Wood piles need to be less than eight feet long, eight feet wide, and six feet tall in order to be chipped in one trip. Bigger amounts of wood must be separated into multiple piles.

Piles must also be free of excessive amounts of dirt and cannot contain any trash, building materials, or wires. Materials other than wood can damage the chipping machine.

The chipping crew will be making laps through the district throughout the summer, but Owens says the district will likely stop accepting wood pile registrations sometime in late August so crews can finish chipping by late September.

He says the program is effective in an area like Park City that has a large amount of potential wildfire fuel to clean up each year.

“If you look at our district as a whole, we have a whole lot of fuel to be taken care of," he says. "Under this program, the individual homeowner is able to take care of the fuel on their property and we can, we say ‘chip away,’ at it a little bit at a time. Where one house makes a difference, now we have two houses making a difference and three houses making a difference. The cumulative effect of all of that together is really quite a bit larger than you would think.”

Owens says managing the area’s wildfire fuel is a continuous job. No matter how much gets cleaned up this year, there will be more to take care of next year.

For more information on the wood chipping service and to register a pile, click here.