Petrolia is located approximately 5 miles inland, north of the King Range National Conservation Area
in the southwestern portion of the county. This community, which has a population of about 1,000, is primarily within the Wildland-Urban Interface
. The landscape surrounding Petrolia is particularly hazardous for wildfires, with steep mountainous terrain and many narrow, windy roads.
Petrolia became a nationally recognized Firewise Community in 2011 and has maintained its Firewise status since then. The Petrolia Firewise Board works in conjunction with the Lower Mattole Fire Safe Council (FSC), the Mattole Restoration Council
, and the Petrolia Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) to improve fire-safety in this area.
Petrolia Firewise events are often held in conjunction with fundraisers for the Petrolia VFD. These Firewise events often include barbecues, auctions, and live music as well as the distribution of Firewise materials and gathering community feedback related to fire-related needs and concerns.
Fire preparedness efforts in this community have included helping landowners clear home ignition zones, updating street and address signage, and fuels reduction projects through the Fire Adapted Landscapes and Safe Homes (FLASH) program
, a rebate program that reimburses landowners for reducing hazardous wildfire fuels on their properties.
Petrolia's Firewise community wildfire assessment (PDF)
and action plan (PDF)
are excellent tools for communities to learn about wildfire hazards in their area and collaboratively identify actions to reduce those hazards.