Enterprise Risk Management

Northern California Fires Producing Poor Air Quality Around the San Francisco Bay Area 

Image current as of 10/12/2017 4:00pm

Due to the devastating fires in the North Bay, the city of San Francisco, including San Francisco State University, is experiencing severe and unhealthy air quality conditions due to the smoke. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. The health and safety of all students, faculty and staff is the University’s top priority. As such, the University is cancelling Thursday evening classes, effective at 5 p.m. today (10/12).

For students, Student Health Services has a limited supply of single use disposable dust masks for student use. Stop by Student Health Services, or call (415) 338-1251 for more information.

For faculty and staff, Environment Health Safety has a limited supply of single use disposable dust respirators/dust masks that we can issue for “voluntary use.” Please contact: Jon Farhat in Environment, Health & Safety at jfarhat@sfsu.edu or 415-338-7037, to arrange for a mask.

For additional information and ongoing updates regarding University status please visit SF State News


Poor Air Quality Safety

As the fires in the North Bay continue to grow, we must make ourselves aware of threats it brings with it. The City of San Francisco is now experiencing severe and unhealthy air quality conditions as a result of these fires. Staying up to date on the air quality conditions and taking the right precautions will reduce the risk of exposure to unhealthy air. 


  • If you are close to the fire, try to keep your outdoor activity to a minimum.
  • Keep windows and doors closed and only run air conditioning in a closed area.
  • Be cautious with children, due to their developing respiratory systems, they are more susceptible to smoke.
  • If you are in a car, keep windows closed and if you choose to use the air conditioning, make sure to set it on the recycle setting.


Avoiding the smoke all together is the best way to prevent inhalation, but if the smoke is unavoidable, you have a couple other options:

  • Dust Mask: Does not block the small, dangerous particles within the smoke
  • Respirator: Can filter out about 95% of the dust particles

Make sure to visit: https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_city&cityid=317 to stay up to date on the air quality and see what actions need to be taken.