Some Bay Area Colleges, Universities Remain Closed Due to Poor Air Quality

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Smoke from the Camp Fire blankets the Bay Bridge and the city of San Francisco on Nov. 13, 2018. (Samantha Shanahan/KQED)

While some Bay Area colleges and universities are open for classes and other business on Monday, several others remained closed today and might close Tuesday, all the result of smoke coming south from the Camp Fire in Butte County.

Among those still closed Monday:

  • All San Francisco State University campuses, except for limited services in Residential Life, Student Health Services, the university Police Department, Procurement and essential personnel. A message regarding whether the campus closures will extend into Tuesday will be issued by 5 p.m. Monday.
  • All Contra Costa Community College District campuses and offices. Those closures include Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, satellite campuses in Brentwood and San Ramon, and the district offices in Martinez. A decision about reopening Tuesday will be made by 3 p.m. Monday.
  • Laney College in Oakland. An assessment as to when the campus will reopen is expected Monday.
  • De Anza College in Cupertino. A decision on reopening Tuesday is expected by 2 p.m. Monday.
  • Mills College in Oakland, closed Monday.
  • UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University will remain closed this coming week because of the continuing poor air quality resulting from smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County, officials from those two schools said today.

Campuses that resumed classes Monday include:

  • Chabot College in Hayward and at Las Positas College in Livermore. Those are the main campuses of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District.
  • The College of Marin's Kentfield and Indian Valley Campuses. According to an email sent Sunday night, after consultation with Marin Health and Human Services and the Marin County Office of Education, college officials determined the air quality has returned to levels acceptable for classes to be held.
  • The College of San Mateo will be open for classes Monday.
  • San Jose State University will be open for classes and all other business Monday and Tuesday, university officials said Sunday.

The Camp Fire, which started Nov. 8, continues to burn in Butte County. So far, 77 people have been confirmed dead, more than 11,000 homes destroyed and 151,000 acres burned. Today just after 7 a.m. it was estimated to be 66 percent contained.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District expects Bay Area air quality to remain in the "unhealthy" range into Tuesday, and be healthier by Wednesday morning. As of Sunday night, air quality throughout the entire Bay Area from San Jose north to Santa Rosa and beyond was rated as "unhealthy" according to the Air Quality Index (AQI).

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The Bay Area also remains under a Spare the Air warning, making it illegal to use fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices.