Community Safety

Division of Student Life

September 11, 2020

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

We learned today that the threat of fire evacuation in Multnomah County is very low and seems to have stabilized. The county released the following statement: “The threat of wildfire is not increasing in Multnomah County. Clackamas Fire and Portland Fire & Rescue confirm the fires in Clackamas County are not moving in a way that would shift any part of Multnomah County to an evacuation level. As a result, there are no orders of evacuation in Multnomah County.”

However, as many of you who are on campus can attest, the air in Southeast Portland is very smoky. According to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s website,, air quality has been hovering around the “very unhealthy” level.

So long as air quality remains at “very unhealthy” or, worse yet, “hazardous” levels, the following guidelines will be in effect:

  • Classes will be held online rather than in person; contact the Dean of the Faculty Kathy Oleson with questions.
  • To the extent possible, staff and faculty will work from home and not travel to campus.
  • To the extent possible, student work shifts will be cancelled, postponed, or carried out from home.
  • If you are unsure if you are expected to report for work, you should contact your supervisor.
  • Commons will remain fully open for food service.
  • Student support, such as Care Team, will remain at regular service levels.

The college’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) has been closely monitoring weather and air quality reports. At this time, air quality is not predicted to improve over the weekend, so it is possible that on Monday, classes will need to be held online and the above guidelines will remain in effect. We anticipate providing you with an update about this no later than 5 a.m. on Monday morning.

Weather reports are calling for rain on Tuesday, along with winds that will shift the smoke out of our area. We look forward to the time when we can report a significant improvement in air quality.

Be well and take good care,
Reed College Emergency Response Team