Office of the President

October 27, 2019 - California Wildfires

To: Campus Community

From: President Gayle Hutchinson

Today, my thoughts are with the communities impacted by Kincade Fire in Sonoma County and other fires burning throughout the state. As this unprecedented wind event combines with prime fire conditions, I fear that the situation will become worse before it gets better, but I am grateful to all of the firefighters and first responders working to control the blazes and keep everyone safe.

That the Kincade Fire is affecting many of the same communities recovering from the 2017 Wine Country wildfires feels especially cruel. I know that many of our students, employees, and alumni have deep roots in these communities and may be directly affected or have family and friends who are impacted. To them, I extend my deepest sympathies and support. 

We have also offered assistance to our sister campuses at Sonoma State, which will remain evacuated and closed at least through Monday night, and Cal Maritime Academy, which was evacuated this morning. Please keep our friends and colleagues in your thoughts as they continue dealing with this incredibly difficult situation. 

I also know the images and stories coming out of Sonoma County and from the other fires also weigh heavily on those of us in Butte County, particularly with the Camp Fire anniversary looming. Many of our students and employees are experiencing immense stress and may find it difficult to focus on class or work this week—please contact your faculty or supervisor directly if you are in need of accommodations, and I ask that those requests be treated with flexibility and compassion.

Additionally, students can access support services from the Counseling Center 24/7 by calling 530-898-6345 or with urgent walk-in services Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Student Services Center, Room 430. Faculty and staff can contact LifeMatters at 1-800-367-7474 or for counseling and other services. Password: csuchico.

I encourage us all to check in and look out for one another—lend strength, community, and an open ear to your friends, family, and fellow Wildcats. As I said last November, I am convinced and confident in our resilience to rise from these challenges like so many others because I know we will do it together. Please take care of yourselves and one another today and each day forward.