Information about Volcanoville and the Volcanoville Fire Safe Council
The Community of Volcanoville is a beautiful area, located along Volcanoville Road on the Georgetown Divide, in El Dorado County, which has been designated as “Extremely High Fire Hazard Area”. There are approximately 225 homes in the area with 150 full time residences. Prior to work completed with grant funds, Volcanoville Road was a 7 miles stretch of narrow (in many areas two vehicles could not pass), winding road with poor visibility around the corners. The road was so overgrown that it would have been extremely dangerous for incoming fire personnel and evacuating residents during a major fire situation. As Volcanoville Road is the only way in and out of the area, there needed to be an effort throughout the community to prevent fire and help protect the residents from the dangers of wildland fire.
Approximately 30 years ago members of the Bear State Property Owners Association (a local community group) formed the Vocanoville Fire Safety Committee to help promote fire prevention and safety throughout the community. Jim and Lily Clark long time Volcanoville residents spurred its first residential fire inspection program shortly there after. In September of 2004 this committee was formalized into the Volcanoville Fire Safe Council.
In June of 2001 the Bear State Property Owners Association, with the help of The High Sierra Resource Conservation and Development Area, applied for and received a $15,000 grant to develop a Fire Safe and Fuels Reduction Plan to collect existing information and recommend actions which will address concerns of the Volcanoville residents and fire protection agencies regarding wildfire issues.” Actions to be recommended were to address emergency response needs, road access, evacuation, an early warning system, communications, safety zones, community outreach, property owner’s responsibilities, a hazard analysis and fuel treatment priority and also identify future funding. In June of 2002 the final report of the Volcanoville Fire Safe and Fuels Reduction Plan was published. The report states that one of the biggest concerns with fire officials and residents was the inadequacy of emergency access and the ability to evacuate area residents safely. It was determined that improvements and fuels reduction along Volcanoville Road was essential.
In February of 2002, the Bear State Property Owners Association, with the assistance of Dan Macon with the High Sierra Resource Conservation and Development Area, applied for and received a grant for $70,000, from the Bureau of Land Management, to reduce the fuel load and improve visibility along Volcanoville Road. The El Dorado County DOT agreed to match the funds obtained.
The Growlersberg Conservation Corp assisted with the project and did an excellent job in trimming trees, clearing brush and other flammable vegetation from along the road. The Volcanoville Community volunteers donated approximately 700 hours of time to help flag incoming and outgoing traffic during the time the work was being performed.
The visibility along Volcanoville Road was greatly improved. The project enhanced the roads ability to accommodate both incoming emergency vehicles and evacuating residents and visitors during a fire situation. However, there is more work that needs to be done. The following year the County DOT will utilize any remaining funds from their portion of the grant to improve the road.
In January 2003, the Bear State Property Owners Association applied for and received a $15,000 grant from the El Dorado Fire Safe Council to develop Fire Safe Demonstration Areas along the road so residents could see what their property should look like. This project was recently completed and signs were posted on the property.
In 2007 Volcanoville achieved a nationally recognized Firewise Community/USA status. They became one of three in Northern California. The award was granted because their efforts to educate their residents and become safer from wildland fire hazards.
The Volcanoville Fire Safe Council will continue to encourage residents to practice fire safety and prevention measures and work to make the Volcanoville Community a safer place to live.
For more information about the Vocanoville Fire Safe Council call Mary Cornelison 530-333-0359.