Ambae's Mt Lombenben first erupted in September prompting a mass evacuation of the 11,000 people living there.
Many returned after a month but renewed activity in recent weeks as prompted the government to issue a state of emergency and plan for another evacuation.
The government is speaking with landowners on Maewo and Pentecost about the provision of land where Ambae islanders could settle permanently.
But the government official says any evacuation would not be compulsory.
Photo by Vanuatu Red Cross. Caption: Ash fall on Ambae Island