Sonoma County is currently accepting applications from residents in unincorporated areas to take advantage of the county’s free chipper program.

The program provides free chipper services to help residents make their properties more defensible against wildfires.

Creating defensible space by clearing surrounding fuel and vegetation is critical to prevent the spread of wildfires, the county said in a statement advertising the program.

The chippers are lent out from the Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division on a first-come, first-served basis.

The chipper program is expected to be open through November, depending on the weather.

The free program can help save residents hundreds of dollars in rental costs.

Last year, the program was utilized more than 385 times.

Permit Sonoma has more information and an application available on its website.