University officials closed campus at 5 p.m. Thursday because of increasingly poor air quality caused by ongoing brush fires burning along the Los Angeles-Ventura county line.
University officials will re-evaluate the air quality situation early Friday morning and decide whether to re-open the campus for classes. Spokespersons from the Department of Public Safety and the university encouraged students and employees to check the CSUN home page early Friday morning for an update on the closure.
CSUN police officers walked door-to-door notifying professors and students of the closure as night classes were canceled and parking lots emptied. To the west, brush fires moved toward Thousand Oaks, Calabasas and Oak Park, scorching more than 17,000 acres, one home and several other structures, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
Administrators had decided to keep the campus open throughout the day, but winds began to blow smoke from the fires toward campus late in the afternoon, bringing ash and the smell of torched brush toward the center of campus.
University officials held another meeting late Thursday afternoon, and led by Chief of Police Anne Glavin, acting as director of emergency operations for the campus, decided to close the campus because of air quality concerns.
By 7 p.m., most of campus was emptied as a red glow peaked over the hills to the west.
The Department of Public Safety’s entire police force was on campus late Thursday facilitating the closure, according to Christina Villalobos, CSUN police spokesperson.
“Until the campus is notified, it’s considered closed,” she said.