Smoke from NorCal wildfires impacts daily activities at DVC


Isaac Norman

Smoky skies over DVC on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Mahrukh Siddiqui, Managing editor

Update: 4CD has decided to cancel all classes and campus activities at Los Medanos College, Contra Costa College and both Diablo Valley College campuses on Thursday, Oct. 12.

Between medical concerns, smoky classrooms and cancelled outdoor events, the smoke from 10 wildfires burning in neighboring Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties is affecting campus life.

According to Lt. Huddleston of the Diablo Valley College police two medical calls were made on Wednesday related to the air quality, though “neither individual chose to go with the paramedics.”

DVC Maintenance and Operations sent out an email explaining that “due to complaints about smoke in classrooms and buildings” they were turning off the outside air intake “in most buildings.”

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has issued a health advisory and a Spare the Air alert.

According to the BAAQMD, current air quality is “very unhealthy” and the wildfires are “causing unprecedented levels of air pollution in the Bay Area.”

BAAQMD advised that individuals limit their outdoor activities if they smelled smoke and that they should stay indoors with the doors and windows closed to reduce exposure.

In an email sent out to faculty, interim-President Ted Wieden said that while the “college is not officially closed, all (faculty) absences – related to air quality issues – will be excused.” Wieden also asked faculty to “be sensitive to the health concerns of our students.”

In the same email, Wieden said that due to recommendations from BAAQMD, the campus would be “limiting outdoor activity, including the athletic team activities.”

The status of DVC’s closure on Thursday, Oct. 11 is up in the air, though as of Wednesday evening the school is expected to be open.