Ash rains down from fiery, smoke-filled skies as winds howl and wreak havoc throughout the county. Is it the end of times? No, it’s just October.
Santa Ana winds began laying siege to Orange County in the early hours of Monday morning, leaving downed power lines, fallen trees, and two large brush fires in their wake.
The Silverado fire, which began about 20 miles southeast of Santiago Canyon College, prompted its temporary closure. A RAVE alert announced that the campus will reopen Oct. 29.
Marvin Martinez, Chancellor of Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) which includes SCC, reassured students that the closure was only a precaution.
“RSCCD has Closed SCC out of an abundance of caution related to the current wildfires. There is no damage or impact to the campus,” said Martinez. “SCC parking lots are being prepared as a staging area for Orange County fire fighters.”
Martinez also expressed the district’s support for faculty who may be living in areas currently being forced to evacuate. “Our thoughts and prayers are with each of them and their families.” Free counseling and referral services will be available to employees through RSCCD Employee Assistance Programs.
One such employee, Professor Marissa Elliot and her husband, are staying with her mom in Brea after receiving an alert text to evacuate around 9 a.m on Oct. 26. “As I was leaving Cal Fire and Irvine PD were blocking off all entrances to communities in our area,” Elliot said.
Although the future of some faculty may be uncertain, Santa Ana College itself remains safe.
“Santa Ana College is currently open and not in danger of being impacted by the fire,” says Dr. Jeffrey Lamb, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “We are keeping our eyes on the situation should anything change, we will notify via RAVE alert, College website, and social media.”