UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

Satellite photo of Southern California fires Enhanced satellite photo (taken Oct. 22) shows fires ringing the San Diego and Los Angeles metro areas, with plumes of smoke stretching hundreds of miles out across the Pacific Ocean. (NASA photo)

A message from Chancellor Birgeneau on the Southern California wildfires

Once again we are called upon to respond to a catastrophic event that may affect many of you as well as your family members, colleagues, or friends. I want to express my deepest concern and sympathy to all members of the Cal community affected by the wildfires in Southern California. I witnessed some of the effects of these devastating wild-fires earlier this week as I was attending an American Association of University Presidents meeting in Southern California. I have sent a message to all our alumni and Cal Parents in Southern California on behalf of our campus community extending our sympathies and offering our support. Our thoughts are also with our colleagues at UC San Diego and other campuses that are immediately affected by this crisis.

Wildfire links
UC Berkeley resources
• Coping with wildfires: Information on counseling and other services for students, faculty and staff from University Health Services
• Emergency loans: Students may visit the Financial Aid Office (220 Sproul Hall) Monday through Thursday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for same-day emergency loans
• Dean of Students: (510) 642-6741 or poullard@berkeley.edu
Fire status information
• CDF current incident page
• San Diego area wildfire map
• Southern California fires map
News coverage
•  San Diego Union-Tribune
• Los Angeles Times
Relief agencies
• American Red Cross
• Federal Emergency Management Agency

While we do not yet know the full extent of the damage that may result from the Southern California fires, you may need information about our campus resources for students, faculty, and staff. Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard has already sent a message to students from the affected areas.

If you are a student needing emergency financial assistance for travel to the affected area please check with the Office of Financial Aid. If you need flexibility in academic deadlines because of travel related to the fires, the Dean of Student's office at (510) 642-6741 may be able to assist you in connecting with your course instructors.

University Health Services at Tang Center can provide counseling support for students, faculty, or staff who are affected by the wildfires. Students may contact Counseling and Psychological Services at (510) 642-9494. Faculty and staff may contact CARE Services at (510) 643-7754.

Tang Center also publishes materials on many related topics, including information about coping with anxiety or depression, advice for working with distressed students, and guidance for difficult times, which you can find on the Tang Center website.

I encourage supervisors to be flexible regarding the scheduling and use of accrued leave by staff who may need to travel to the affected areas.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will do all we can to help our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and colleagues in Southern California to recover from these devastating fires.

Yours sincerely,

Robert J. Birgeneau
Chancellor