Last updated November 30, 2018

November has been a fierce month for several California Campuses – NIRSA members, their colleagues, and families were impacted as numerous fires broke out around the state.  The Woosley and Hills fires tore thru densely populated neighborhoods outside of Los Angeles, right up to the doors of Pepperdine University.  The hazardous conditions from the fire and smoke forced closures of many schools in the southern part of the state. Pepperdine then faced additional challenges at the Malibu Campus as rains posed risk of massive mudslides, forcing the school to close again for the a day on November 29th.

The Camp Fire burned over 150,000 acres in the mountains of northern California, destroying the town of Paradise, a neighboring community to Chico.  Chico State University closed for two weeks and has been heavily involved in community relief efforts – from sheltering first responders to providing a gathering place for community meetings and assistance.  Although Chico State University is on the front lines, this tragedy touched staff members and students at other schools in the Sacramento Valley such as Sacramento State and UC Davis, as many had family that lived in the area.

These massive fires generated harmful smoke that resulted in over 10 schools scattered throughout the state closing for a week or more.

Thankfully rain came in last week to help put out the fires.  The long road to recovery is just beginning.

While universities and facilities largely escaped damage from the fires, some of our friends lost their homes, pets and animals. Other colleagues are helping to rebuild the lives of family, friends and students.

NIRSA family can be counted on as strong sources of support during these difficult times.  To help your fellow campus rec colleagues and staff reeling from these events, consider contributing to one of these charities.

Front Lines support of NIRSA members:

Chico State University, Wildcats Rise – Fire Recovery Fund

Note – Individual departments or groups can set up a ‘Team’ at the web site to do a local donation challenges to support this fund.

Pepperdine University, Pepperdine Strong Fund

Additional Community Organizations supporting local relief efforts:

Paradise Fire Adopt a Family, sponsor a specific family that has been affected

North Valley Community Fund 

NorCal United Way

Red Cross 

If you hear of other ways we can support our colleagues or have news updates, please let us  know via email at and


Woolsey Fire Threatens Pepperdine University

Fires near Chico State