Wildfires Shutter UC-San Diego Campus

Raging fires force UC-San Diego to cancel class, while out east, Duke and UNC continue to water nongrassy field hockey fields.

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UC-San Diego may never get a snow day, but wildfires causing "extremely poor air quality" have forced officials to cancel class for the day, the Guardian reports. The university's Thornton Hospital also has ceased elective admissions and outpatient services in preparation for potential fire victims, and the newspaper has set up a blog with civilian commentary on the fires and updated road closures.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, drought-ravaged North Carolina residents aren't yet fleeing from their homes, but are instead outraged by Duke University and University of North Carolina athletic departments continuing to water their field hockey fields—which aren't even made of grass (they're made of synthetic turf). According to the News & Observer, the International Hockey Federation requires wet fields because it not only affects the way the ball bounces but also gives players better grip on the field, preventing injury. Residents in both cities have been banned from outdoor watering (there are only 69 days of water left in Durham's supply), but because of business exemptions, the schools are not actually doing anything illegal.

That's of little comfort to neighbors ("Sprinklers aren't even the right term, they're like fire hoses," said one local. "I couldn't believe it."), but fortunate scheduling may offer more relief: Most of the two teams' remaining games of the season are away.