Yearly Archives: 2017

Direct Relief Purchases 100,000 N-95 Masks for Distribution in Santa Barbara, Ventura Counties

As the Thomas Fire continues to diminish air quality along the Central Coast, Direct Relief has purchased another 100,000 N-95 masks for distribution throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. … Westmont College, Santa Barbara. more

Closing Schools and Moving Finals Due to Thomas Fire A Look at Our Education System’s Response to the Wildfire

A steady progression of setbacks to normal operating procedures culminated on December 10 as Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Cary Matsuoka closed classes districtwide until January. … President Gayle Beebe said Westmont College’s wildfire emergency plan predates the 2008 Tea Fire, which destroyed eight buildings and 15 faculty homes as 1,000 students sheltered in place inside Murchison Gymnasium. Members of the college’s grounds crew are trained volunteer firefighters, equipped with a 2,400-gallon water tanker truck and a smaller vehicle toting 350 gallons. more

KCSB Radio Interview with Gayle Beebe

disrupts end of quarter activities for and Westmont College in , I spoke with the president of Westmont, Dr. Gayle Beebe, as is in the mandatory evacuation zone

Westmont College Serves as Thomas Fire Headquarters; Campus Evacuated Campus was evacuated and all activities shut down as flames move west toward Montecito

A new Thomas Fire headquarters has been established at Westmont College in Santa Barbara this week to accommodate the increased resources and personnel near Santa Barbara County communities.

Some 500 firefighters and 100 engines are housed at the campus as crews tackle the fire moving farther west, toward Montecito and Santa Barbara, according to Westmont spokesman Scott Craig. more

Magnusson Durham discusses ‘Anxiety, Social Media and the News’ at Media Masters

With the seeming prevalence of bad news headlines, a sense of fear and anxiety may arise as a result. This past fall, clinical psychologist Nancy Magnusson Durham, led a discussion of “Anxiety, Social Media and the News” as part of the Nov. 14 Media Masters event. … Durham began her career at Pepperdine University as an assistant professor and has more than 35 years of experience in higher education. She has an undergraduate degree from Westmont College, a Master of Arts degree from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. from Washington State University. more

Thomas Fire takes aim at Toro Canyon

The Thomas Fire loomed over Toro Canyon late Monday as crews fight to stem its progress west through Santa Barbara County. At last report 231,700 acres, the wildfire is now the fifth largest in California history. As of Monday night, authorities put containment at 20 percent. … According to Westmont College spokesman Scott Craig, the college will serve as the operational headquarters for the Thomas Fire response. more

Westmont College closes for semester, UCSB reschedules fall finals

Westmont College in Santa Barbara is closed for the semester because of the Thomas Fire. The campus was placed under an evacuation order Sunday evening and is now being used as an operational headquarters for the firefighters who are battling the fire. more

Firefighters Focused on Defending Carpinteria from Thomas Fire on Monday Over 6,000 Fire Personnel Fight On; Voluntary Evacuations Stretch to Highway 154

As the western edge of the Thomas Fire, now about 2 miles to the northeast of Toro Canyon Park, continues to spread to the west, fire crews will begin using Westmont’s campus as a staging ground for operations in the Montecito foothills, according to Westmont College Manager of Media Relations Scott Craig. About 500 firefighters and 100 engines will cycle through the campus as strike teams are assigned to defend structures throughout Montecito, north of Highway 192. more

Thomas Fire explodes to 230,500 acres — now 5th largest in California history

The Thomas Fire has reached Santa Barbara County and the smoke plume spread over San Luis Obispo County on Sunday, December 10, 2017. Here’s a look at the skies over Pismo Beach, Morro Bay and elsewhere. … Most Santa Barbara County schools canceled classes for at least Monday, and Westmont College closed its campus in the Montecito foothills since it was in the mandatory evacuation zone Sunday night. more

Westmont College evacuation brings back memories of Tea Fire

The Thomas Fire has forced mandatory evacuations for students, faculty, and staff at Westmont College. Three evacuations were put in place Sunday, but this isn’t the first time this campus has been threatened by wildfires. The Tea Fire in November 2008 damaged and burned several buildings on campus. So far, the campus is not in the destructive path in the Thomas Fire, but it is close to the burn zone. watch video