GIA Open for Business Thursday

The Gemological Institute of America headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., will be open for business as usual, after closing on Wednesday due to the wildfires in Southern California, according to a statement on its Web site.

Earlier in the day, Laura Simanton, GIA senior public relations manager, said that the campus, which includes classrooms, laboratories, a museum, and a library, has been safe from any fire danger.

The campus was closed Wednesday, although the laboratory did stay open. Some people not under evacuation orders have gone to the office, Simanton said.

“Many people are at the offices. Again, the laboratory is open, and will continue to work through the week and the weekend,” Simanton said.

“We closed the facility initially as a precautionary measure, and because we were sensitive to staff and students needs as to the evacuation, road and school closures being made throughout San Diego County at the time,” Simanton said. “We were not close to any of the fires.”

The Web statement said that some GIA employees were among the approximate half-million people who were evacuated because of the wildfires which spread from Los Angeles to San Diego fanned by the dry Santa Ana winds. The winds reportedly died down and the humidity increased Wednesday, which is largely seen as a good sign among firefighters, rescue workers, state officials.

The last time Wildfires caused the GIA to close its headquarters was in 2003.