The Tar PITS, Calif.
— It’s been more than 25 years since a volcano erupted on California’s coastal plain, and the Tar Pittas is one of the last places visitors can find a live volcano in a natural setting.
The Tar Pit erupts every spring, and its eruptions have been recorded by hundreds of people for more than 50 years.
A small area in the town of Pigeon Forge, where a crater formed in 1980, was evacuated by the time the eruption was discovered.
In 2010, two hikers died after being trapped under a volcano’s summit during a trek through the crater.
The town was later razed.
Today, it is considered a tourist destination, with more than 600 hotels and the Pigeons Forge Visitor Center on the Pinnacle Trail.
A decade ago, when the volcano’s activity was reported, many visitors were reluctant to venture into the crater because of its safety concerns.
The resort has since reopened, and it’s a popular destination for tourists, with nearly 200,000 visitors visiting each year.
“The whole thing is about making sure people are comfortable, so we’re able to make sure people know that they can go,” said Bill Bowers, president of the Piltmore National Park.
“There are no traps, there are no dangers, there’s no danger of the eruption.
It’s a place where people can come and enjoy themselves, not be intimidated.”
A few years ago, a visitor to Pigeone Forge asked to take a picture with a volcano and a giant crater, but when he was told to leave by the park’s officials, he returned a few weeks later.
Now, tourists like Bill are excited to be able to explore a crater they have never seen before.
The Pigeones Forge Visitors Center has been a tourist attraction for more then a decade, but visitors were hesitant to come because of safety concerns when the eruptions started.
Now the center is the destination for all visitors.
“I’m really excited about that, and I think the fact that they’re able, once they’ve seen it, to see it again makes it even more worth it,” said Bowers.
“Because when it comes to tourism, when you’re out there, you don’t want to be afraid.”
A volcano erupts on the California coast in San Diego, California on April 30, 2010.
The eruption is recorded by thousands of people every year.
In 2011, an eruption in the crater killed three people.
In 2013, an ash cloud blanketed the entire state, including California, for weeks.
The ash cloud is one reason why the state has been the site of several major volcanic eruptions.
Most of the ash that fell in the Bay Area in 2013 was captured in a large cloud, according to the National Weather Service.
A few months ago, the National Park Service released a video showing a large white cloud drifting over the Bay, with the wind blowing it in the opposite direction.
“That’s what it’s like for me when I see a volcano,” said Mike Denton, a former San Diego firefighter who now lives in New Jersey.
“It makes you think, ‘Wow, how cool is that?'”
Denton has spent more than 20 years with the National Parks Service.
He says the Paltlins are one of his favorite places to visit, especially since the volcano has been quiet for so long.
“We’re very close to the coast, and you can get to know it pretty quickly.
We like to walk around the area and get a feel for it, and we like the view from there.
It just gives us that feeling,” Denton said.
The area was designated as a historic site in 2009, after the area was destroyed during the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.
Today’s eruption is the most powerful to hit California since the eruption in 1980 that killed three tourists.
“This volcano has really been dormant for a long time.
We haven’t seen it erupt in decades, and now we’ve got a very, very good opportunity to get a better look at it,” Dennys said.