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Southern California Wildfires Threaten Colleges

December 7, 2017
 
 

Ongoing wildfires in Southern California have prompted several colleges to close campuses or cancel classes.

All three colleges in the Ventura County Community College District were closed Wednesday, the district said on its website, because of the "fire, evacuations, power outages, poor air quality and travel restrictions."

While its campus remained safe, the University of California, Los Angeles, canceled classes Wednesday due to traffic snarls related to the fires. UCLA briefly lost power Wednesday and had to rely on generators to "sustain limited operations," the university said. UCLA also canceled a men's basketball game. And the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper, reported that UCLA's student health center was distributing masks to help protect students from breathing the smoke.

California State University, Channel Islands, shut down Wednesday over concerns about power outages and air quality.

The Los Angeles-located Mount Saint Mary's University, citing power outages, evacuated its Chalon campus. The university provided shuttle buses to help faculty, students and staff move to another campus.

Thomas Aquinas College, which is located in Ventura County, closed for the remainder of the week after firefighters helped turned back a nearby fire Monday night.

"The flames in the surrounding area -- which, at one point, came up to the very edge of the campus access road -- have subsided," the college said on its website. "Although there has been extensive damage to trees and brush, as well as minor damage to the coffee-shop patio, no major structures have been harmed."

Update: California State University, Northridge, closed Thursday. "High winds and smoke from the fires in and around the San Fernando Valley have affected air quality on campus and traffic conditions," the university said.

Los Angeles Valley College also closed Thursday, citing poor air quality from the fires.

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