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Camp Fire smoke closes UC-Berkeley and other Bay Area colleges

The Bay Bridge is obscured Thursday as smoke from the Camp Fire fills the air in San Francisco. (Michael Short/Bloomberg)
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Several colleges in California’s Bay Area are closed as smoke from the massive Camp Fire has made air quality unhealthful.

The University of California at Berkeley canceled classes and shut down all but essential operations through Friday, Chancellor Carol Christ announced. She reminded students who need respirators that they are available.

The University of San Francisco closed its Northern California campuses through Friday as the air quality index rose above 200 in San Francisco on Thursday. The Environmental Protection Agency rates air quality from zero to 500, with zero being the lowest risk. Air quality measured as 200 to 300 is considered “very unhealthy” and triggers an alert that everyone may experience adverse health effects.

Smoke from the Camp Fire in northern California blanketed San Francisco on Nov. 14, causing the city to issue a warning about air quality. (Video: @Shalaco via Storyful)

The air quality was another sign of the pervasive impact of the wildfires tearing through California. The fires have destroyed communities, taken more than 60 lives, closed roads, isolated regions and left rescuers searching for hundreds of missing people.

Camp Fire’s destruction in Northern California leaves rescue teams sifting through debris for human remains

Stanford University and the University of California at Davis also canceled classes Friday.

Wildfires are affecting colleges in Southern California, as well.

Pepperdine University’s Malibu and Calabasas campuses remain closed through the Thanksgiving holiday, and officials plan to reopen Nov. 26. The Woolsey Fire burned on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus earlier this month.

Pepperdine students sheltered in place as fire raged around the Malibu campus

At California Lutheran University, the campus is still sheltering people displaced by the fire and hosting events for local organizations.

'It was a view of hell': The wildfire raging in California was named after their small college — it started that close