Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Northern and Southern California Fires

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are deeply saddened by the widespread devastation of the ongoing fires in Northern and Southern California. The Camp Fire in Butte County has claimed many precious lives and is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The Woolsey Fire, in Ventura County, is being called one of the largest fires to strike Los Angeles in more than 100 years.

We continue to monitor the fire situation throughout the state. Due to heavy smoke in the Bay Area from the Camp Fire, we urge you to monitor the air quality of your own community on the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow site.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by these fast-moving wildfires, especially to those who have lost loved ones, as well as the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced. We also are grateful for the tireless efforts of the thousands of hard-working firefighters, first responders, and volunteers.

I am heartened by the interest and response of the UCSF community to offer assistance. Over the weekend, School of Nursing clinicians answered an urgent need for licensed health care providers to assist in the evacuation sites through Caring Choices, a nonprofit agency that is assisting with rapid credentialing and background checks to help distribute health care workers where they are most needed. Volunteer clinicians may also go to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority to be credentialed as an official emergency responder.

If you are considering becoming a volunteer, we ask that you please obtain approval from your supervisor or department chair to use accrued time or take time off without pay and ensure there is adequate coverage for your role at UCSF.

Many in our community have generously responded to calls for supplies and clothing to evacuation centers. The response has been overwhelming, and officials are now asking for donations of cash or gift cards directly to disaster relief agencies. You can donate to the American Red Cross, which has opened shelters across the state to help evacuees, or the California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund, which supports intermediate and long-term recovery efforts for major California wildfires, as well as preparedness efforts.

If you choose to aid the fire evacuees through other organizations, please research your chosen charity first. The UCSF Global Disaster Assistance Committee has information on how you can help in a disaster situation. Another good source to consult is Charity Navigator.

At times like these, we are reminded of the boundless strength and spirit of the people of California.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor