Query: What is an "Operational Area"?
Response: An Operational Area (OA) is an organization for emergency management. It is more or less synonymous with a county, yet different. The OA is a functional organization, and NOT a jurisdiction. Its boundaries are normally those of a county (Sec 8559 CA Gov. Code). An OA is not necessarily a county government; it could be several cities, or a city and a county, a county government; or several county governments that undertake to coordinate the flow of mutual aid and information within the defined area. The OA is the backbone of a statewide emergency management system. Operational Areas in California serve 58 counties and geographical sub-units such as the Tahoe Basin.