Tue, Sep 6 2011
LeTourneau University continues to monitor reports of fires around East Texas, however there is still no threat at this time to the LETU campus. LETU will continue monitoring the situation to ensure student safety.
What follows is the latest information sent out from the Office of Student Affairs regarding the fires you may be hearing about—-or if you’re on-campus in Longview, the smoke you might be seeing and smelling.
The Office of Student Affairs and University Police Department are monitoring the situation closely.
There is no threat of wild fires on, around, or approaching our campus.
The fires that have been reported in our county (Gregg County) are listed as "under control"; however some continue to burn as “hot spots” rekindle in the persisting drought conditions. Minor “pop-up” fires have occurred in the City of Longview, but all fires have been contained and successfully extinguished.
No evacuations for the Longview area have been ordered. One evacuation was ordered this afternoon in the Gladewater area south of Highway 135 in Gregg County.
The smoke seen intermittently on campus is only an irritant to most and not a factor in classrooms and other facilities. Students with respiratory conditions requiring special care or medication should exercise caution when being outdoors; dust masks are available from Nurse Shela in the Student Affairs building or from resident directors if you desire one.
We are staying in close contact with the Gregg County and City of Longview emergency management offices should an issue arise requiring an evacuation from campus. In that event, students will be given significant warning through our emergency communication system (blanket text messages and emails).
We ask for the LETU community to pray for the families affected by the broader wildfire situation. Men and women are working around the clock to contain the fires around the state, including 25,000 acres and 500 homes in central Texas.
While there is no immediate threat to our campus, Longview Fire Department has responded to 86 fires in the Gregg Country area from noon on Sunday, Sept 4 through 2 pm this afternoon.
At this point in time, firefighters have all the food and beverages needed; however, volunteer fire departments could use donations of fuel gift cards if you are interested in assisting in some way. To ask about future donation needs, you may contact the City of Longview at 903-237-1379. We will keep students posted on any immediate needs—time, resources, or other assistance—that may arise.
Fire Safety Tips
The Longview Fire Department recommends:
• If you encounter extreme concentrations of smoke, do not enter that area.
• Review your exit strategies from your home or residence hall and be prepared to use it calmly, helping others along the way
• If you encounter dangerous circumstances, do not wait for an evacuation order. Leave the area promptly and report the situation to UPD (903-233-4444), or Longview Fire Department or Police Department via 911.
• If you do not live in the immediate area of a fire – you are asked, for your own safety, do not go into the area. Conditions change rapidly and could become hazardous at any time.