California wildfires affect on Quinnipiac students

Fires continue to rage through parts of the Golden State.

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The California wildfires have caused major devastation across the state since first starting on November 8, 2018.

The fire in Buttee County, located in northern California has wiped out 142,000 acres. As of November 16, 2018, 45 percent of the fire had been contained. Over 15,000 structures have been threatened and 63 people are dead. Cal fire expects the fires in Butte County to be fully contained by November 30, 2018.


The blaze that devastated parts of Ventura and Los Angeles County has killed three people. As of November 16, 2018, 69 percent of the fire has been contained. The flames have threatened 57,000 structures. Cal fire expects the fire to be contained by November 19, 2018.

Quinnipiac University has a number of students studying in Los Angeles as part of the QU in LA program. Students haven’t experienced evacuations, but smoke can be seen in the near distance.

21-year-old Kayla Hevey, a junior journalism major said, “Fortunately, as of right now we can’t see the fires at all. They’re saying that the air quality is not good, it’s okay outside for short amounts of times…Friday and Saturday when we were standing on our balconies we could see the fires.”

Other Quinnipiac students who are California natives have been directly affected by the flames.

23-year-old graduate student, Robyn Brown said, “The fires started out in the Southern Oaks area and went through Malibu and got as close as a mile away from my house. Fortunately, my mom was visiting me here in Connecticut, but my dad was evacuated.”

Brown, from Woodland Hills, California, is finishing her studies in Connecticut, but with social media, she has been able to connect with friends from high school who are in the midst of the devastation.

“People who I follow on social media that I went to high school with [I saw] just how close they were and the devastation that was taking over acres and acres of land. So we were evacuated for a couple of days, thankfully the fire did not hit our house,” said Brown.

Senior journalism major, Justin Cait is also from Woodland Hills, California. Cait has a number of friends and family who have been impacted by the relentless flames rushing into homes and structures.

21-year-old Cait said, “My mom works at a camp in Malibu…she helps adults with special needs garden, farm and earn a bit of income through work, and that whole camp was burnt down in Malibu, totally lost.”

Other people Cait knows have been able to take precaution before it was too late.

“One of my friends, she had the pink fire retardant, whatever it may be, dropped onto her house to save what was a fire already starting in her backyard,” said Cait.

The death toll in California is rising as the number of missing people continues to climb. As of 10:15 a.m. today, November 16, over 600 people are missing in wake of the ongoing fierce flames tearing through parts of northern and southern California.  

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Follow @Q30News for continued coverage on the California wildfires.