Dump fire prompts campus closures

Photo courtesy of College of the Desert. Courses held at the Mecca/Thermal Campus and Coachella Library have been canceled due to bad air quality.

BY ALEXANDRO ZATARAIN

STAFF REPORTER

UPDATED Oct. 22 6:25 p.m.:

Classes at the College’s Mecca/Thermal Campus and the Coachella Library have been canceled on Wednesday, Oct 23 due to ongoing air quality related health concerns.

Posted by College of the Desert on Tuesday, October 22, 2019

UPDATED Oct. 22 12:45 p.m.: According to COD, all courses have been canceled at the Mecca/Thermal Campus and Coachella Library.

College of the Desert announced Sunday that courses held at the Mecca/Thermal campus and Coachella Library had been canceled for Monday, Oct. 21, due to health concerns in regards to air quality stemming from a dump fire. The college made the announcement via its website and social media.

Due to air quality related health concerns from the fire in Thermal, classes at the College’s Mecca/Thermal Campus and the Coachella Library have been canceled on Monday, October 21.

Posted by College of the Desert on Sunday, October 20, 2019

The fire began on Oct. 14 at the Sun Valley Recycling Center in Thermal, sending the east valley into a smoke advisory from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. This is the second such fire from the same facility since May.

As reported by the Desert Sun, federal officials stepped in last week and forced the closure of the facility, which sits on land belonging to the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, toured the site on Sunday and was hopeful. “It’s a matter of days, if not a day or two, that they’re going to put this fire and smoke down,” Ruiz said.

Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) closed all of its campuses on Friday after the smoke left several students sick. CVUSD, which spans from Indio to Salton City, continues to be closed as of Monday.

The college has not stated whether the closure would extend past Monday.

Visit http://www.thechaparral.net for updates.

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