CALFire/USFS Hired Equipment - Chipper Modules

Looking for feedback from anyone with knowledge on how the FS and Calfire utilize hired equipment chipper modules.

  1. Is it typically year round (fuels reduction) or just for fire cleanup post event?
  2. Heard rumor that the modules don’t load and just need to operate the chipper, is this correct?
  3. Demand for chipper modules with both agencies.

For Fires Calfire Chipper modules are intended to be used during “Suppression Repair”. However, the personal are required to have all of the safety training and PPE for suppression as the module can be used in conjunction with a crew for fuels modification.

The module is all inclusive and hired wet (Personnel, equipment, PPE, Transportation, Etc)

For “Project” work. Every project is different send subject ot the plans and specifications of the project that gets bid.


Forest Service is roughly the same : All inclusive unit generally for Suppression Repair; suppression safety training / PPE required.

It’s my understanding that for safety reasons only members of the module are allowed to load the chipper, but in practice only once did I see a safety team uphold that. Generally a hand crew is teamed up with the chipper to help.

I’ve also seen a chipper/mini excavator combined module that operated independently chipping larger diameter material.

Demand varies with fire.

As for project work, if chipping is required in a timber sale/service contract, the contractor takes care of all equipment needs. Work by FS personnel is generally pile and burn or lop and scatter, I haven’t seen chipping done.

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