May 8, 2009
TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
Dear Colleagues, Students, Parents, and Friends:
The Jesusita Fire continues to spread in our Santa Barbara community. UC Santa Barbara has provided police officers and other emergency personnel to assist with the expanding evacuations. Last night we opened our Recreation Center and other campus facilities to serve as a Red Cross shelter for those in need. We are currently sheltering nearly 800 evacuees.
I deeply appreciate the outpouring of support from our campus community to help those affected by this terrible fire. Many of you have generously opened your homes to welcome those who have been evacuated, or have offered other much-needed assistance. Our colleagues worked around the clock last night to help evacuees feel welcome and comfortable on our campus. My wife, Dilling, and I were so moved to be with you and to see such compassion in action. All of us—faculty, staff, and students—have demonstrated once again how much our UCSB family cares for each other and for others in our community.
We have made the resources of our campus available to support the Red Cross and emergency personnel, and will continue to do so throughout the weekend and for as long as needed. The County moved its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to our campus last night, and the Department of Public Health has done the same with its Department Operational Center (DOC).
Because our campus is not in the evacuation areas, we are fortunate to be able to serve our community as a Red Cross shelter location, with our Recreation Center as a major accommodation site. Our campus remains open and operating on a normal schedule, although for those of our affected colleagues and students who may need schedule flexibility due to this emergency, I urge managers to extend understanding and cooperation in accommodating individual circumstances. I would also like to thank our RecCen users for their understanding of our need to temporarily suspend regular activities there.
Details about the assistance we are offering members of our campus community who have lost homes, been evacuated, or are coping with other fire-related difficulties are contained in my memo of May 7, which can be found at http://chancellor.ucsb.edu/memos.
We are glad that our campus is safe, and we are grateful for the tireless efforts of all those who are working so hard to protect our entire community. We will continue to closely monitor the evolving circumstances, and will post updates to our campus web page at http://www.ucsb.edu/campus-update/jesusita-fire.shtml.
Again, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 893-2231 if you have questions or need assistance.
Henry T. Yang