Devastating wildfires in the North Bay this week have destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, left numerous residents dead or missing, and deeply affected the lives of untold numbers of people.

“We are thinking of our neighbors in the North Bay at this tremendously difficult time, and we know that many people within our own Stanford community have family members and friends whose lives have been completely upended by this tragedy,” said Provost Persis Drell. “Our campus resources stand ready to help those in our community who are struggling with the impacts of these terrible fires.”

Among the activities at Stanford related to the fire response:

  • Student outreach: Student Affairs is reaching out to Stanford students from the counties affected by the wildfires to confirm their safety and to offer assistance. Undergraduate students who have questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Koren Bakkegard, associate dean for residential education, at (650) 725-2800 or Graduate students should contact Ken Hsu, assistant vice provost and director of the Graduate Life Office, at (650) 723-8357 or
  • Air quality: Smoke from the fires has led to deteriorating air quality in much of the Bay Area this week, including at Stanford. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a health advisory. Air quality is expected to continue to vary based on meteorological conditions. Stanford encourages members of the campus community to take appropriate measures, including limiting outdoor activity; setting air conditioning and car ventilation systems to recirculate air instead of drawing in outside air; and paying special attention to the needs of older adults, children and people with heart or lung disease, all of whom are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke. Stanford Athletics is actively monitoring the air quality index, and on Wednesday afternoon several of its sports programs canceled practices, moved to a later time or relocated indoors.
  • Hospital: Stanford Health Care has received patients from the wildfire area this week and will continue to do so. The Stanford Department of Public Safety advises that Sand Hill Field could be temporarily closed at times in the coming days to accept incoming helicopter flights transporting patients from the North Bay.
  • Police response: Off-duty officers from the Stanford Department of Public Safety have volunteered to respond to the mutual-aid request from law enforcement agencies in the North Bay, to help protect those communities in this challenging period.
  • Providing help: Many members of the Stanford community would like to help victims of the fires and other devastating events that have occurred in recent weeks. The Press Democrat newspaper in Sonoma County offers suggestions for helping people affected by the fires. In addition, the Cardinal at Work Cares Giving Campaign will be held during the month of November to collect and donate personal care items such as toothpaste, soap, diapers and more. University Human Resources is exploring how to expand that drive to include donating personal care items to fire victims through charitable organizations in the North Bay.