Los Angeles Pierce College Serving as a
Red Cross Evacuation Center
What began as a simple "ask" turned into a community affair.
"The Hill Fire" and the "Woolsey Fire," pushed by Santa Ana Winds, have swept through tens of thousands of acres in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties with alarming speed, dislocating about 235,000 residents in our surrounding communities.
On Thursday, November 8, 2018, at approximately 10:00 PM, the American Red Cross contacted Los Angeles Pierce College and asked if it could establish an Emergency Evacuation Center on campus. They initially thought the Center would draw between 60 and 100 people. In coordination with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, arrangements were made, and Red Cross personnel began to arrive around 11:00 PM. At that time, we were asked if we might be able to take "a few more" evacuees who were being moved from a nearby Evacuation Center that had reached capacity.
By midnight, Los Angeles County had issued a mandatory evacuation order for tens of thousands of additional residents in nearby communities. This order, coupled with Ventura County's orders, included more than 80,000 individuals. By 1:00 AM, there were 800 evacuees at Pierce College. We opened one of our gyms, and then another, to take in our neighbors. By dawn, there were over 1,100 evacuees on our campus, either in one or the other of our two gyms, in our largest conference center, or just sleeping in their cars in one of our parking lots. Learn more