With multiple forest fires raging in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon, the air quality in Coeur d’Alene has hit dangerous levels and prompted all outdoor events and practices to be cancelled at NIC for the time being.
On Tuesday, NIC students could be seen on campus wearing medical masks, and using shirts and hoodies to cover their mouths in hopes of filtering out the damaging smoke. Classes remain in session, but the school is cautioning students to minimize their exposure to the air.
According to an emergency announcement released by the school, some athletic practices may be moved indoors if not outright canceled, and maintenance workers will stay indoors. In addition, the Wednesday night NIC Athletics Department/Booster Club Cruise on the lake was canceled.
On Thursday, the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of the Student Wellness and Recreation Center was also moved indoors to a multi-purpose room.
“All the smoke makes it seem like we’re on another planet,” said NIC student Laura Wilburn. “I really hope things improve soon.”
It is unclear if and when the community will see significant relief from the smoke.