June 12, 2012
The following is a message from President Tony Frank. Updates regarding the university's response to the High Park fire (including closures, cancellations or other impacts) that occurred after Dr. Frank's message to campus are available at www.safety.colostate.edu.
Since my email yesterday, many of you have shared information about coworkers and students who have been personally affected by the High Park fire - and we’ve also had an overwhelming amount of interest in how the CSU community can help support those who have suffered devastating losses.
For those who want to offer help and support to colleagues: We’re working to create a special fund internally to provide support for members of the CSU community who have been severely impacted by the disaster. As soon as that fund is established, we’ll get information out to all of you about how you can contribute if you want to do so. This is just one way that we can rally to support our CSU friends and colleagues - we also encourage you to continue to volunteer your time and resources to the Red Cross and other responding agencies as you can.
We’re continuing to update our CSU public safety site with the latest information as it becomes available, including the latest developments at Pingree Park, which was fully evacuated at 2 p.m. Tuesday. All of the Pingree staff made it home safely - and all activities at Pingree have been cancelled for at least this week. We’ll keep you posted on any further developments at Pingree via the public safety site - and the Poudre River Public Library District has also created a special website with a full range of information on various aspects of the response and recovery.
Right now, we’re primarily focused on supporting the firefighting efforts and trying to identify members of our faculty, staff and student body who have been displaced or significantly impacted by the fire. Thanks to all of you who have been sharing the names of colleagues and students who are among the evacuees - so far we know of about 45 people. Please, if you have information about someone from our campus community who is affected, either respond to this email or send the information to Lanai Greenhalgh (Lanai.Greenhalgh@colostate.edu) in our Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program office. We are reaching out systematically to all these folks to help get them whatever support we can, but we need your assistance in identifying them.
Thanks again to ALL of you for the extraordinary effort to support both the firefighting team and those who have lost their homes and property or been temporarily displaced. We’ve been able to offer housing in our residences halls for evacuees and firefighters, and we’re working with the county to set up a temporary Disaster Recovery Center in Johnson Hall as a location to provide direct victims assistance over the next couple of weeks. We expect the command center could remain out at Chrisman Field for the next two to three weeks, and our facilities and CSUPD teams have been providing exceptional support to that effort.
We are also providing facilities on campus to other agencies as needed, including the Red Cross and CDC, as part of our coordinated, community-wide response effort. Finally, we still have a lot of people on the front lines combating the fire, including the Colorado State Forest Service, and we’re enormously grateful to all of you.
Let’s keep all those impacted, including the firefighters and the evacuees, in our thoughts.
Tony Frank, President
All of us are united today in our deep concern for the people and firefighters affected by the High Park Fire. For the latest updates related to the fire and campus, please follow http://safety.colostate.edu, which is being frequently updated.
Updates on the fire.
At this time, no University activities on the main campus have been cancelled, and all summer classes are continuing as scheduled. This includes Preview, Youth Sports Camps, Black Issues Forum, and other major programs. To the extent possible, we are moving outdoor activities inside - and likewise, students and employees are encouraged to move any non-essential outdoor activities indoors to avoid prolonged exposure to the smoke. The Larimer County Health Department recommends that outdoor physical activities be avoided any time smoke can be seen or smelled. People who are experiencing health impacts related to the smoke should work with their supervisor or professor to make accommodations, if necessary. We are also working with Building Proctors to help them address any site-specific issues related to air quality or research impacts, so please contact them with any building-related concerns.
The University is continually monitoring the status and safety of facilities located away from the main campus, including Pingree Park and the Foothills Campus. Colorado State University has moved or canceled all activities scheduled at Pingree Park until further notice. Classes scheduled at Pingree Park, have been temporarily moved to the main campus. Students should report to Edwards Hall, where they will receive room information and other details directly from their instructors.
Many members of our campus community are personally impacted by the fire. If you know of an employee who is highly impacted, either through evacuations or property loss, and who needs additional assistance, please contact Lanai Greenhalgh, Director of the Office of the Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program at CSU, at (970) 491-1527 or Lanai.Greenhalgh@colostate.edu so she can reach out to them.
Employees seeking counseling, financial planning, legal or other resources can also contact the EAP directly at (800) 497-9133. If you know of students who are highly impacted, please advise them to call (970) 491-1350 for assistance with making arrangements for academic and personal impacts.
This type of tragedy always brings out the generous and caring spirit of our campus community. Anyone looking for a way to support victims of the fire should contact the Red Cross, which greatly appreciates all contributions.
Colorado State University is actively helping by providing resources and assistance to assist with fire-fighting and recovery coordination efforts. The Joint Incident Command center is at the university’s foothills campus, housing about 2,000 emergency responders, helicopters and other fire resources. The university is supporting the operation by supplying facilities and utilities, as well as a significant number of our employees who are assisting with the efforts. CSUPD is assisting at the Incident Command Center by providing traffic control, security and dispatchers.
The Colorado State Forest Service is playing a significant role in battling the fire, and has deployed all available people and equipment to help fight the fire.
In addition, the university has offered to provide housing, if needed, to those displaced by evacuation and showers and rest facilities for fire fighters.
Our Equine facilities are being used to house evacuated horses, and the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is supporting the Larimer County Humane Society with pets and small animals that have been evacuated. (The Humane Society should be contacted first before animals are brought to the hospital.)
This is obviously a very rough situation that is troubling to all of us. Let’s all keep our friends, neighbors and area firefighters in our thoughts today. Again, please follow SAFETY.COLOSTATE.EDU for regular updates and information, and if you are personally impacted, please check in with our Employee Assistance Program (Lanai.Greenhalgh@colostate.edu) for whatever assistance and support we can provide.
Tony Frank, President