Sac State campus closure continues into Wednesday


Thomas Frey - The State Hornet

Sac State cancelled its game against Northern Arizona on Saturday after the air quality index reached 218. Sac State does not allow athletic events to take place if the air quality index is recorded above 200.

Cory Jaynes and Claire Morgan

Sacramento State will be closed Wednesday due to poor air quality in the region caused by the Camp Fire.

In an email announcement, President Robert Nelsen said that all classes, activities, events and work for Wednesday will be canceled, however, the dining commons, courtyard market and emergency services were still in operation. Campus was also closed Tuesday.

The Camp Fire started just 90 miles away from Sac State in Butte County and has burned through roughly 200 square miles, destroyed more than 7,000 buildings and killed 56 people — making it the deadliest wildfire in California history.

Air quality in the Sacramento area at 3 p.m. Wednesday was 169 — a level that Environmental Protection Agency says is “unhealthy,” according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

On Saturday, the university canceled its football game against Northern Arizona University due to poor air quality. The air quality at the time of cancellation was 218 — a level that the EPA says is “very unhealthy.”

Tuesday’s announcement also linked to a page of frequently asked questions posted to Sac State’s website.

Monday’s announcement regarding Tuesday’s closure came through a series of emails, texts and phone calls made to the campus community, as well as a notice from Nelsen.

We have decided to close campus and Sacramento State Downtown on Tuesday, Nov. 13, due to poor air quality as a result of smoke from the Camp Fire and at the recommendation of the Office for Environmental Health and Safety,” Nelsen said in the statement. “We will continue to monitor air quality conditions and send information as it becomes available.”

Nelsen tweeted from his personal account Monday night calling for the Sac State community to support each other and to use the time to form a stronger tomorrow.

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Cheers could be heard from Sac State’s dorm halls night in response to both announcements on Monday and Tuesday.

Students took to social media to share their responses to the University’s decision to close campus. Some celebrated while others offered condolences to those affected by the Camp Fire.

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Air quality is expected to continue to be dangerous through Wednesday, according to Sacramento AIRNow.

“Monday through Wednesday, periods of northerly winds will continue to transport smoke from the Camp Fire into the Sacramento region,” a forecast said. “In addition, winds will be light, reducing smoke dispersion. Furthermore, overnight temperature inversions will trap pollutants near the ground. Therefore, particle levels will be unhealthy on all three days.”

Nelsen encouraged students to follow Sac State’s official social media accounts to get more information in days to come.

According to Nelsen’s announcement, campus is scheduled to reopen Thursday.

RELATED: Nearby Camp Fire prompts closures, other action from Sac State

Margherita Beale contributed to this report.