Defensible Space Projects

These programs are funded by a grant from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, though the California Fire Safe Council.

Fuel Reduction Grant Program

Fuel reduction projects focus on locations that could be ignited easily and areas that effected evacuation routes. Of particular concern were areas where vegetation formed “ladder fuels” that could allow a fire to burn into trees. Fires in tree crowns are difficult to suppress and can cast burning embers downwind to start more fires.

The first fuel reduction projects were completed in the late summer of 2012, five project areas were determined by holding community planning sessions to determine the highest fire hazard areas.  These projects greatly improved fire conditions for residences located in the Hayward Hills.  By the Spring of 2015 we completed nine more fuel reduction projects focusing on critical evacuation routes in the Hayward Hills.  In 2016 we focused on the chipping program, inter-agency collaborations, and creating a pilot resident assistance program.  In 2017 we implemented our Residential Assistance Program, assisting residents with limited economic resources and/or limited physical abilities to reduce overall fuel loads and established vertical and horizontal clearance to reduce the chance of fire spread.


Hansen Rd. Before                                                                             Hansen Rd. After

Residential Assistance Program

Additional grant funding is available to help seniors, disabled, and low-income residents with cutting, trimming, and stacking. The residential assistance program was successfully piloted in fall of 2017, when it served 8 homes on 5 acres. It assists those with limited physical abilities or economic resources with preparation of materials for chipping or green waste disposal. Our goal is to serve additional acres in 2019 and 2020.  Hayward Fire Department staff and the contractor will meet with the home owners to prioritize fuel reduction needed for defensible space. The contractor will complete the work and cut and stack fuel for chipping or removal as green waste.    


Before                                                                               After

No-Cost Residential Chipping Program

The City’s no-cost chipping program is open to properties east of Mission Boulevard from the south side of D Street to the city limits south to Union City.  The program is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Residents are responsible for cutting and stacking the debris, and the City’s contractor comes to the front of each property to do the chipping. Chipping dates will coincide with residents getting ready for fire season in the spring and when awareness is heightened in the summer to fall. To announce the program and raise awareness, postcards will be mailed to every home in the High-hazard Fire Area (approximately 8,600 households).      

Contractor Chipping

If you have any questions regarding these programs please call the Fire Administration Office at (510) 583-4930