Arvada III was a Class M planet. By the early 24th century, it was a Federation colony. The original colonists arrived in Brisbane-class vessels. In the 2330s, Arvada was the site of a terrible disaster that claimed the lives of many colonists. Felisa Howard and her granddaughter, Beverly were among the survivors, and the elder Howard's knowledge of folk medicine saved many lives. (TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom", Starship Recognition Files 2)
The exact nature of the Arvada III disaster is not made clear in canon. In the DS9 Relaunch novel Demons of Air and Darkness, Elias Vaughn refers to it as a "genocidal holocaust," whereas the subsequent novel Death In Winter paints a vastly different picture of a crashed alien ship and a biological contagion. The makers of the Star Trek: Generations PC game connected the tragedy with the Erselrope Wars, due to the unrelated discussion of both incidents in the episode "The Arsenal of Freedom".