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State of emergency declared in Plumas to allow for shelters

The ink was barely dry on a resolution declaring a state of emergency in support of the Camp Fire in Butte County, when the American Red Cross removed its evacuation shelter at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds.

In an emergency process, members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors added a proclamation to the Tuesday, Nov. 13, agenda.

By the following day, Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Red Cross discontinued services at the fairgrounds and moved everyone to a facility in Butte County.

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood as head of the county’s Office of Emergency Services had declared a state of emergency in order to establish a Chester evacuation center last weekend. That declaration was set to expire, explained County Counsel Craig Settlemire. Supervisors needed to approve a new proclamation to continue emergency services.

Settlemire explained that Supervisors had to recognize the situation as an urgency item in order to add it to the agenda and take action.

Settlemire also explained that Supervisors couldn’t wait until the next meeting of the board, which is in December, to include the item on the regular agenda.

Settlemire explained that Plumas County wouldn’t bill FEMA directly for costs incurred in assisting with the Camp Fire, but would send bills to Butte County. Officials in Butte would include those costs when billing the federal program and get reimbursement through that process.


When Hagwood approved the first emergency response plan it was to allow an emergency shelter to be established at the Chester Memorial Hall and then at the recreation center.

But evacuees weren’t at those sites long before the Memorial Hall was closed and the people were moved to the fairgrounds in Quincy.

Office of Emergency Services

Nick Dawson, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Assistant Chief of the OES, updated Supervisors on emergency shelter efforts at the fairgrounds in Quincy.

At that time the fairgrounds opened its doors to six displaced individuals needing shelter, according to Dawson.

Plumas Crisis Intervention and Resource Center was assisting 52 client referrals, he said.

Dawson said that all of the county departments — Public Health, Social Services and others, and the agencies involved in the relief effort, had done a phenomenal job.

Shelter closes

Local county departments and agencies were meeting regularly to provide assistance to those at the fairgrounds and others who were finding shelter in other places. Then Wednesday, Nov. 14, officials decided to move evacuees to Butte County.

“It just made sense,” said Nick Dawson, assistant chief of the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services.

When word arrived, Dawson said they immediately made arrangement and provided transportation to Butte County.

Dawson said that the move made sense because everything evacuees needed was being provided for in Butte County. While local departments and agencies were doing everything they could to assist individuals FEMA and other programs were in Butte County.

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