El Dorado County is situated almost entirely within Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest, oak woodlands and heavy chaparral vegetation types. The county comprises 1,805 square miles with over half in National Forests and recreation areas. The remainder of the county is comprised primarily of homes, businesses and subdivisions scattered throughout wildland vegetation. Sacramento County borders on the west and the eastern boundary is the State of Nevada. Placer County is to the north and Amador County to the south.
The population of El Dorado County is rapidly expanding into these vegetation types with residential and commercial development occurring in wildland/urban interface areas that are traditionally considered high fire hazard risk. The population growth of the county is primarily made up of individuals with little knowledge of the risks associated with living near heavy vegetation. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) classifies this area as Very High Fire Hazard. In addition, the CA Fire Plan indicates that some or all of the wildland fire threat to this county comes from the adjacent Federal Lands.