The Bobcat fire that is currently sweeping through Angeles National Forest, blanketing the foothill communities in smoke and ash, has caused Pasadena City College to fully shut down its facilities until Monday, Sept. 14, campus officials announced today in an email.
“We took this action to make sure that our students, faculty and staff are staying safe and secure in their homes,” PCC spokesperson Alex Boekelheide said. “We also want to be sure that everyone monitors news from emergency responders and takes appropriate action. We thank the first responders for their service and extend our wishes to those impacted by this fire.”
The email cited the current air quality in the Pasadena area as the reason for the shutdown, explaining that the campus will be closed to all students, visitors and staff, with the exception of campus police.
Although the campus is closed, online classes are not cancelled. However, in-person class meetings will not be held through Monday.
“If we wake up Monday morning and the air quality is the same or worse than it is now, then we may have to make a call to possibly extend the shutdown. But it all depends on the wind patterns,” Boekelheide said.
The fire, which started Sept. 6, has since engulfed approximately 23,890 acres of land. The cause is currently unknown. According to the Incident Information System, the wind conditions were more favorable today, which allowed fire crews to make progress in their efforts to contain the blaze.
However, as reported in the Courier earlier this week, unfavorable wind conditions have the potential to further spread the blaze, endangering those living in the foothill communities.
According to the City of Sierra Madre website, the cities of Duarte, Bradbury, Monrovia, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, Pasadena and Altadena are currently in an “Evacuation WARNING” status.
“Residents should have evacuation plans in place, their emergency evacuation supplies organized, and their essential personal belongings easily accessible,” the most recent website update explains. “Vehicles should be fully fueled, facing out in the driveways and ready to leave.”
For more information about the fire and for daily updates, check the Incident Information System.
To register for the Pasadena Local Alert system, check here.