June 12, 2012
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. today. 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: http://www.poudrelibraries.org/news/fire.html
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 tonight.
Dr. Tony Frank