Sac State campus closure continues into Friday


Emily Rabasto - The State Hornet

Sacramento State Residence Life Coordinator Edgardo Palomo wears a respirator mask as he treks through the smoke-filled campus walkways on Nov. 14. President Robert Nelsen announced for the third day in a row that campus will be closed Thursday due to the poor air quality from the smoke of the Camp Fire in Butte County.

Kameron Schmid and Claire Morgan

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

Campus has been closed all week thus far — Monday for Veterans Day — because of the fire’s effect on the air quality in Sacramento.

UC Davis and other area community colleges and K-12 schools have canceled classes as well.

In an email announcement, President Robert Nelsen said all classes, activities, events and work for Friday will be canceled, adding that concerns for student health outweighed concerns over further postponing campus activities.

The extended closure announcement on Thursday came with answers to questions about class activities, due dates and deadlines in the form of an FAQ.

All campus buildings, save for residence halls, will remain closed; employees deemed “essential” may be called in to work on specific tasks.

Additionally, Nelsen’s email said the deadline to drop a fall semester class has been extended to Nov. 21, and students are not liable to turn in assignments originally scheduled to be due during the campus closure period.

The Camp Fire started 90 miles away from Sac State in Butte County and has burned through roughly 210 square miles, destroyed more than 9,000 buildings and killed 56 people — making it the deadliest wildfire in California history.

Air quality in the Sacramento area at 2 p.m. Thursday was 201 — a level that the Environmental Protection Agency says is “very unhealthy,” according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

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

“Wednesday through Friday, periods of northerly winds will continue to transport smoke from the Camp Fire into the Sacramento region,” according to the AIRNow forecast. “In addition, winds will be light, limiting smoke dispersion. Furthermore, an upper-level ridge of high pressure will reduce atmospheric mixing, trapping pollutants near the ground. Therefore, particle levels will be Very Unhealthy on Wednesday and Unhealthy on Thursday and Friday.”

The campus is tentatively scheduled to open again on Monday.