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City of Portola ratifies emergency proclamation; appoints assistant director of emergency services

A special meeting of the City of Portola City Council was held the afternoon of Thursday, August 19 in order to ratify an emergency proclamation related to the impact of the Dixie Fire and approve a resolution to appoint an assistant director of emergency services.

“On Monday evening, City Manager Lauren Knox got a call from Plumas County, which covered the need for residents of Plumas County to move from the Lassen County shelter to Portola,” Mayor Bill Powers explained. “Lauren was able to get ahold of me, and we got together and came down here to try and sort things out, and one of the main items we came out with was to get this local emergency proclaimed.”

Knox explained that the proclamation allows the city to better respond to the Dixie Fire, whether that is to help others or the county in a variety of ways. “This also provides us with immunities to different liabilities and respond better,” Knox said.

Due to the ongoing closures of US 395, there hasn’t yet been the expected large influx of evacuees from the center in Lassen County to the areas available in Portola, such as the city park and ballpark. It was also discussed that the veteran’s hall may be a location to house some evacuees.

On Wednesday, August 16, the City of Portola’s director of emergency services Mayor Bill Powers proclaimed the existence of a local emergency due to “the conditions of extreme peril” due to the Dixie Fire, and stressed the need to appoint an assistant director of emergency services.

This proclamation and appointment would delegate certain powers and duties to the assistant director of emergency services.

It would also give the city full power to provide mutual aid to any area affected by the Dixie Fire in accordance with local ordinances, resolutions, and emergency plans. This means that the city may also promulgate orders and regulations such as imposing a curfew within designated boundaries where necessary to “preserve public order and safety.”

It was noted that all such orders and amendments will be in writing and given widespread publicity and notice.

City Manager Lauren Knox was then appointed to the office of assistant director of emergency services, the resolution was passed, and the proclamation ratified by roll call vote.

The local emergency proclaimed will be reviewed by the Portola City Council for possible continuance at least once every 60 days until the local emergency is terminated. For more information, visit the City of Portola web page at www.cityofportola.com or call 832-6801.

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