Nov. 16, 2020

Dear Campus Community: 

I hope this message finds everyone staying well. The safety and security of our campus community remains our top priority and we continue to work to keep you safe.

As you may be aware, in recent years our campus has been threatened multiple times by wildfires in the region. At times, these wildfire threats have prompted the activation of CSUCI’s Wildfire Hazard Plan, and some fires have also forced a full evacuation of the campus and University Glen community.  

COVID-19 presents unique challenges for safety during and after a fire threat, including the difficulty associated with transferring to off-campus shelter.  Because the current low wildfire fuel load near the main campus residence halls presents very little risk to students in those buildings, Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) has recommended that in the event of a wildfire leading to an evacuation order for CSUCI, residential students on the main campus be encouraged to shelter-in-place inside their own living spaces in the residence halls as long as it remains safe to do so. Further, as students living on campus are already assigned one per living unit, a strong social distancing plan is firmly in place.

We recognize that at first glance this may seem counterintuitive. However, in examining this plan, VCFD recommends this strategy as a potentially safer and secure solution. The plan eliminates the risks associated with rapid evacuation from the campus and secures housing for students who might otherwise need to travel to their family or friend’s home since local mass sheltering accommodations during a wildfire and COVID-19 pandemic will be very limited.

Thus, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the other unique circumstances described above, CSUCI’s Wildfire Hazard Plan has been temporarily modified for the 2020-2021 academic year.   

Additional communication to our residential students, parents and supporters will also be provided with specific information about our shelter-in-place protocol, staff support, and University services provided for residential students while they shelter-in-place.

I invite you to learn more by viewing a video about Shelter-in-Place during Wildfires and COVID-19 and reading our Wildfire Hazard Plan. Additional information will also be communicated shortly to resident students with detailed instructions on shelter-in-place procedures.

Sincerely, 

Michael D. Morris 
Chief of Police 

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