Credit: UPD | Courtesy

The University Police Department (UPD) sent five first responders to assist during the Woolsey and Camp fires in Northern and Southern California.

The Woolsey Fire has burned about 97,114  acres at 40 percent containment, with two people dead. The Camp Fire, now known as the deadliest fire in state history with 48 deaths, has burned about 130,000 acres at 35 percent containment as of Tuesday.  

Cal Poly PD patrolled the area of the #Woolseyfire assisting residents in evacuating the area and looking for looters.  At the same time being on fire watch looking for hotspots and new fires.

— Cal Poly Police (@CalPolyPolice) November 12, 2018

UPD Deputy Chief Brenda Trobaugh said the first responders are there to patrol fire-affected areas and help residents evacuate. This includes knocking on doors and helping them evacuate, patrolling neighborhoods for looters, or helping enforce road closures. Trobaugh said the officers are there to do anything that is needed of them at the time.   

Trobaugh said none of the first responders have been injured.

All UPD officers go through first responder’s training which includes training for natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and fires. This allows UPD to send anyone to help in these situations because they are all qualified, Trobaugh said. UPD is always on call for these situations.  

“If we are needed, we are going,” Trobaugh said.  

According to Trobaugh, Cal Poly will not see an impact of less staffing on campus while officers are on the scenes of the fires. She said they would not let that happen, as safety here is still a priority.  

“Cal Poly should be very proud of the officers putting their lives on the line out there at Woolsey and Camp — they are doing a great job and are representing us very well,” Trobaugh said.  

How you can help

There are several ways for anyone to help victims of the California fires.

Chico State’s Office of Provost started an online fundraiser called “Wildcats Rise” to support students, faculty and staff impacted by the nearby Camp Fire.

“Donations to this fund will support students, faculty, and staff in need of aid for clothing and household goods, electronics such as phones and laptops, transportation, child care assistance, temporary housing, school supplies, or meal assistance,” the fundraiser page read.  

Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) is also collecting donations of supplies for fire relief. Donations may include backpacks, toiletries, blankets, duffle bags, pet food, Band-Aids and clothing. Items may be dropped off at the Julian A. McPhee University Union (building 65, room 212) Thursday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m.

“There are many Cal Poly students that have been impacted by the horrible fires in Northern and Southern California,” University Union Advisory Board Chair and agricultural business senior Danielle Diele said. “This is one small way that ASI Student Government can show support for our community.”

ASI will transport items to Meathead Movers who will deliver them to donation centers in affected areas through their donation program.

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