Community Involvement – Making your neighborhood safe

Sandridge Road Fire Safe Program

In 2005 three minor wildland fires blackened over 20 acres in the West Sandridge Road area. Although the fires were quickly suppressed, the fires started along the primary evacuation route for the residents, slowing firefighting efforts and making it difficult for residents to leave their homes during the fire.  This event caused two of the residents, get “fired up”. These home owners decided that some community action was needed to make their Sandridge Community more fire safe.  

On August 25th, an organizational meeting was held, sponsored by the El Dorado Fire Safe Council.  Residents attended the meeting to hear presentations from Diamond El Dorado Fire District, California Department of Forestry, Sheriff’s Department, El Dorado County Fire Safe Council and many other public safety partners. Our discussion covered the roles that each agency plays in both fire prevention and fire suppression. The attendees decided to get organized, and bi-monthly meetings were scheduled to discuss ways to become more fire safe.   

At a March, 2006 meeting, community members decided to hold “Community Work Days” for roadside fuels reduction on the last Saturday of each month.  The first area chosen was at the west end of Sandridge Road, and during the March and April workdays, approximately 500 feet of roadside fuels were cleared. The debris resulting from the March workday was loaded into a dumpster supplied through the Fire Safe Council Green Waste Program. The April workday debris was chipped, thanks to grants from Bureau of Land Management and El Dorado Air Quality, to the Fire Safe Council.  The most significant progress, however, was made on the May workday, where the targeted area was Sandridge Court. Brush and other vegetation fuels were such that much of the road was unsafe for emergency equipment in the event of a wildfire in the area.  A crew of 12 – 14 stalwart residents showed up with chain saws, weed whackers, and other equipment and cleared the entire stretch of Sandridge Court.   An area for approximately thirty feet on each side of the road was cleaned up. Again, these efforts were supported by the BLM Chipping grant administered by Fire Safe Council, the chipper crews came in and quickly made small chips out of large branches. Sandridge Court is once again safe for firefighting equipment coming in and for residents to evacuate.


Members of the Sandridge Fire Safe Council RC and Sue Anderson have not only prepared their home with defensible space and access, but this is an example of their residential fire defense system.  This system utilizes stored water at their home in conjunction with a pump and fire hose.  This system can defend their home in addition to supplying firefighters with much needed water.


Community action works! This is just one example of the community working together.  We have the ability to give our firefighting teams a chance and protect our homes.  For more information on starting a fire safe council in your area, visit the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council website at