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Smoke Closes Columbia College Campus

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Columbia, CA – Columbia College campus is closed due to deteriorating air quality.

The campus was locked down around 2 p.m. on Thursday with only lab classes still being conducted, per professors’ discretion. This evening, administrators informed Clarke Broadcasting that the closure will remain in place through Friday, Sept. 11th. They note that all other campus services are also closed. However, all online and remote classes, including online services will continue as usual.

The Mariposa and Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control Districts have issued Air Quality Alert for both counties that are expected to remain in effect until the smoke clears, as detailed here.

Mother Lode skies are filled with drift smoke from wildfires burning across the state, including the Creek Fire in nearby Fresno and Madera counties. The blaze has destroyed 361 structures and damaged 9 while another more than 14,000 are threatened.  Already 4,000 people have been evacuated due to the flames with another 15,000 on standby to evacuate. The fire is estimated to be 175,893 acres in size and there is no containment.

The Sierra National Forest has been closed and as reported here on Wednesday, the U.S. Forest Service has shut down all 18 forests in California as a result of wildfires.