November 26, 2019
Dear Members of Our Campus Community,
Santa Barbara County firefighters continue to battle the Cave fire, which began at 4:15 p.m. yesterday on E. Camino Cielo, near Painted Cave, adjacent to Hwy 154. Though visible along the mountain ridge, the fire currently poses no threat to our campus, which remains open. Air quality in our campus area is currently within acceptable range. We are staying in communication with our local public safety and government officials and we are closely monitoring the situation.
However, because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, concerns about weather and travel, and the evacuation of some faculty and staff, we have decided to cancel classes for the remainder of the week, starting this morning at 11 a.m. Classes will resume again on December 2, 2019, following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Although the campus is safe, we will give staff maximum flexibility to take paid leave if they need it through the Emergency Leave policy. I urge administrators and supervisors at all levels to exercise maximum flexibility for staff who are affected by the Cave fire.
For faculty, staff, and students who wish to obtain N95 masks, they are available at Student Health, the Associated Students ticket office in the University Center, and the Pardall Center in Isla Vista (6550 Pardall Road).
The campus remains open. Student housing, including residence halls and apartments, are open and fully operational. We are offering support to students who need assistance. Campus offices will follow up separately with additional information to respond to student questions, including those related to housing and academic concerns.
Campus officials have stayed in close contact with County and fire officials throughout the night and have been reassured that the campus remains safely out of the path of the fire. We are monitoring the situation around the clock and will share updates. The Current contains links to important sources of information related to the Cave fire, including readysbc.org, which provides an updated incident summary and details about evacuations, closures, and shelter facilities. At present, flights in and out of the Santa Barbara Airport are normal, but please continue to check readysbc.org for the latest information that may affect travel plans.
We regret the stress this fire event has caused, not just for those on campus, but also for our families here in the Santa Barbara and Goleta area, especially those who are evacuated. We are grateful to the firefighters, first responders, and the Red Cross, as well as our other emergency partners and UCSB colleagues who are working around the clock to keep all of us in our community safe.
Henry T. Yang