San Marcos,
14:44 PM

CSUSM Closes Campus on Jan. 14 due to Comet Wildfire

By Christine Vaughan


CSUSM's main campus returns to current COVID-19 operation and staffing levels at 6 a.m. on Friday, January 15, 2021.

[Updated Thursday, January 14 at 4:03 p.m.]

The San Marcos Fire Department has indicated that the forward rate of spread in the Comet Fire near Palomar College has been stopped and evacuation warnings will be lifted shortly. Units will remain on scene through the evening. As danger from the Comet Fire near Palomar College in San Marcos dissipates, our campus will return to current COVID-19 operation and staffing levels at 6 a.m. on Friday, January 15, 2021.

We extend our gratitude to the fire fighters, law enforcement personnel and other first responders who responded so quickly to protect the safety of members of our region. At this time, no further e-mail updates on this incident are expected from CSUSM.

[Posted Thursday, January 14 at 2:43 p.m.]

CSUSM is closely monitoring a vegetation fire that started at Palomar College. Voluntary evacuation orders are in effect in some parts of San Marcos. Our thoughts are with the students, faculty and staff who may be impacted – or have friends, family and loved ones impacted.

Effective immediately, CSUSM’s main campus will be closed to all employees not involved in critical on-campus functions. Only personnel approved by managers and residents of CSUSM housing are permitted on campus at this time. Please contact your supervisor if you have any questions. 

For updates on evacuation orders, visit or follow San Marcos Fire Department on Twitter(@SMFD) for more information.

Supporting our CSUSM Community

Members of our campus community may need assistance given evacuation warnings in place. Students can contact the Cougar Care Network at 760-750-7627. Faculty and staff can also refer students to the network.

Faculty may contact the Office of Faculty Affairs. Managers and staff may contact the Office of Human Resources at or 760-750-4418. The Employee Assistance Program is also available to all employees.

CSUSM will continue to monitor the brush fire and provide additional updates if needed and as appropriate. In case of an emergency that directly impacts CSUSM, University Police will provide important information to the campus community via our Emergency Notification System. All current students and employees are registered to receive alerts. Parents and family members who would like to opt in may do so online.

As a reminder, during an emergency, please stay tuned to local media and verified social media accounts. CSUSM will provide ongoing updates via email and will post to as well as official social media accounts: Facebook and Twitter. In addition, you can receive alerts from the County of San Diego by registering your information with AlertSanDiego or via the AlertSanDiego App. Finally, we’d like to share Cal Fire’s website:

Media Contact

Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist | Office: 760-750-7314