Monday update on wildfire smoke

Stanford health and safety officials are continuing to monitor the air quality situation due to smoke from the wildfires in Northern California.

Air quality in the immediate local area improved this morning. However, the impacts of smoke in the Bay Area have been highly localized and changeable. Rather than blanketing the entire region, the smoke so far has tended to be distributed by wind channels in very local patterns.

Currently, forecasts suggest the winds may turn once again later today and potentially direct smoke to our area in the afternoon and evening. Because fires are continuing to burn, we will continue to see the possibility of wildfire smoke in our area for several days.

The best advice when smoke becomes present is to stay indoors. Avoiding exposure to smoky air is the best step one can take. Staying hydrated and keeping windows closed also help.

While there is no general recommendation to wear masks, we understand that some people may feel more comfortable having an N95 mask available due to the conditions this week. It is important to note that masks have limitations and must be fitted properly to be effective.

Stanford employees who work outdoors can be in touch with their supervisors to obtain an N95 mask. Departments have supplies available.

In addition, the university is making N95 masks available to students, faculty and staff who wish to have one. Masks will be available at the following locations during regular business hours, beginning today:

  • Vaden Health Center, 866 Campus Drive
  • Environmental Health & Safety, 484 Oak Road
  • Department of Public Safety, 711 Serra Street
  • Stanford Redwood City: Desk Ambassadors in Cardinal Hall, University Hall, Discovery Hall and Academy Hall
  • SLAC: Occupational Health Center, Building 28, Room 11

You may go to any of these locations for an N95 mask and instructions for use.

We will continue to monitor the situation for any potential impacts on campus operations, and we will communicate any impacts to the university community as soon as possible. Information will be shared via the AlertSU system and on this page.

If local air quality worsens again, students on the main Stanford campus may want to find a study space with filtered air. Here are Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) facilities that have filtered air:

  • Arrillaga Family Dining Commons
  • Graduate Community Center
  • Munger Graduate Residence: Jacobson-Sorensen Hall main lobby
  • Crothers Hall: Taper Center
  • Crothers Hall: Crothers Memorial Meeting Room 101
  • Escondido Village, Kennedy Commons: Great Room
  • Breer Library Meeting Room
  • Florence Moore Hall: SLE lounge and classroom (open to residents only)
  • Most computer clusters within student residences (open to residents only)

Update on PG&E power shutoffs: In addition to the many people displaced by the recent wildfires, we know that many people have been coping with power outages due to the PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs. PG&E has said that additional shutoffs are possible tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 29). Stanford’s campuses are NOT in the area expected to be affected, but please consult PG&E’s website to determine if your home may be affected. A map is available here and an address look-up here.