A series of wildfires has consumed homes and other structures throughout Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, forcing mass evacuations and forever changing lives throughout the nation’s second-largest cities. With residents scrambling with the threat of encroaching blazes, UCLA officials have made the decision to cancel Wednesday night’s home basketball game against Montana.
The health and safety of student-athletes, staff and fans is our top priority. Due to concerns stemming from area wildfires, tonight's men's basketball game versus Montana has been canceled. All other team workouts and practices scheduled for today also have been canceled.
While the first phase of fires struck Ventura County, just northwest of the city, more recent flare-ups have forced evacuations within city limits. The Skirball fire, as it’s been named, forced hundreds of residents in the upscale Bel Air neighborhood to leave their homes early on Wednesday morning. The fire also shut down the 405 expressway, forcing commuters into snarled traffic jams and congesting traffic across the city.
The Bruins were set to face 5-3 Montana in a low-stakes non-conference game at the Pauley Pavilion. While the Grizzlies have already upset one high-major program after defeating Pittsburgh early in the season, they were significant underdogs to a UCLA team ranked 23rd in the latest coaches poll. Though the cancellation will cost Montana the chance to record a quality win, UCLA’s commitment to ensuring the safety of Wednesday night’s players, staff, and fans is clearly the more important decision.