Saddleridge Fire Leads to Evacuations, Changes in Homecoming Plans

Tanisha Gunby

Following two days of uncertainty surrounding the effects of the Saddleridge fire on the air quality at the school, the administration proceeded with the Homecoming varsity football game and celebrations as planned Saturday, though middle school football and varsity and junior varsity field hockey games were canceled. Though all after-school outdoor athletics were cancelled the day before, the administration noted in an unsigned email that air quality improved in the hours leading up to the event.

Thoughts from Students and Staff

“Students are always our primary objective,” Head of Athletics Terry Barnum said. “And so we wouldn’t do anything that’s going to put students or their families in jeopardy.”

Students said that they were happy that Homecoming could proceed as planned.

“I’m really glad that Homecoming wasn’t cancelled due to the fires because it’s the only day of the year where the whole community gets to show their school spirit,” Simran Yogakumar ’21 said.

First Hand Experience

According to KTLA, more than 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Sylmar and Porter Ranch as a result of the fire. Science teacher Steve Yang ’08 said that while he was evacuated, he does not anticipate any damage to his home.

“They let all the brush burn, and they try to protect the houses,” Yang said. “It’s not the first time that it happened, it happens every six or seven years or so, so it’s our second or third time having to pack up.”

Emery Genga ’21 said that after seeing the fire, she was scared for her classmates who were affected.

“When I woke up, I looked out the window again and the entire horizon was lined with smoke,” Genga said.


All evacuation orders were lifted by 5 p.m., Saturday. According to the Los Angeles Times, the fire was 33 percent contained Saturday evening. At Homecoming, the football team defeated St. Genevieve, 27-21.