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University of California Santa Barbara

Memos to Campus

Tea Fire

November 14, 2008


Dear Colleagues:

The unfolding story of the Tea Fire in Montecito and Santa Barbara is a tragedy of major proportions. We are grateful that there has been no loss of life, although several serious injuries have been reported. At the same time, the destruction of property and the dislocation of so many of our colleagues, friends, and neighbors is cause for enormous concern. The UC Santa Barbara community is united in its support for those who are suffering personal loss as a result of this fire.

I have been working with my administrative and faculty colleagues, including the Senate leadership, and have proposed some ways in which our campus is prepared to help.

UC Santa Barbara staff and faculty members, as well as students, who have lost or been evacuated from their homes can call 893-3901 for assistance. This number will be staffed by university personnel 24 hours a day during this emergency. We can provide information on temporary housing, child care, counseling services, personnel issues, and other pertinent information. In addition, the Red Cross is providing shelter and other assistance for the community. Information on their evacuation center is available at 687-1331.

We are also working to provide temporary housing assistance for members of our campus community as needed. If you are able to temporarily accommodate faculty, staff, or students who have been displaced from their homes, please e-mail Associate Vice Chancellor Ron Cortez at Ron will coordinate with you to facilitate such arrangements. Your assistance in accommodating fellow members of our campus community will certainly be appreciated.

Staff members impacted by the fire should consult their department managers about their circumstances and needs. Information about leave time, compensation, and related questions is also available by contacting Cynthia Cronk, Director of Human Resources, at 893-8137, or Leslie Sanchez, Employee & Labor Relations Manager, at 893-4482.

Short-term, interest-free loans for faculty and staff are available to meet immediate needs. To inquire about these loans, please contact Leslie Sanchez at 893-4482.

We recognize that this disruption will have an impact on some of our students. I would like to ask our faculty and staff to take into consideration the special circumstances of these students. For any of our students needing assistance, please contact Candace Stevenson, Assistant to the Dean of Students, at 893-4521.

Our community has been asked to restrict water usage during this emergency. Please help conserve this valuable resource. In addition, the electrical distribution system in Santa Barbara County is vulnerable to fire, as we saw during the recent Gap Fire. The campus is monitoring the situation with Southern California Edison and will provide updates.

Our UCSB home page ( has a link to the Santa Barbara County’s website with the most up-to-date information on the Tea Fire; the County’s page can also be accessed directly at

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone involved in providing assistance during this crisis. And on behalf of our entire UCSB community, I would also like to extend our concern and support to all those affected by this fire. Please do not hesitate to e-mail me at if I can be of any further assistance.


Henry T. Yang