Chico State opens vacant dorms to house North Complex firefighters


Dylan Griffith

Lassen Hall will is one of the two Chico State on-campus residence halls to open it’s doors to house first responders

Chico State announced that it will be housing up to 200 firefighters in on-campus housing that was recently closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks. They will be used by firefighters who are currently battling the North Complex fires.

“Chico State announced October 6th that they are partnering with the Office of Emergency Services (OES) for the State of California to offer a limited number of vacant on-campus residence halls to house up to 200 firefighters and other fire-response personnel from a variety of agencies and locations,” Chico State announced in an email.

The North Complex Fire erupted on Aug. 17 and has burned over 300,000 acres and destroyed around 2,500 structures, according to Cal Fire. There are currently 1,370 personnel fighting the fires.

In light of the recent closure of the dorms on-campus, the university will be enforcing health policies for temporary residents. 

“OES personnel will be overseeing operations at the temporary on-campus residences and individuals will be asked to abide by the same code of conduct we require of our students,” said Connie Huyck, Executive Director of University Housing. “This includes following all local and state health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19.”

The dorms will be under 24 hour supervision and will have a supervisor at both front desks. 

“We have turned over the dorms to the Department General Services and CAL OES, who are in agreement with the state and with what protocols that need to be followed,” said Huyck.

Huyck added that first responders will be provided with single rooms and three meals a day.

Shasta Hall, one of Chico State’s on-campus residence halls reopened in October to house firefighters who are assisting the containment of the North Complex Fires

Both Shasta and Lassen Hall have been deep cleaned as the university’s plans to get the buildings back into being fully operational and open to student residents in the fall, Huyck mentioned.

The contract to house the first responders is planned to last until the end of December but the university is prepared to extend the offer if necessary.

Dylan Griffith can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @dylanr_griffith.