SONOMA COUNTY (CBS SF) – School officials in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County announced Monday evening that many schools would be closed due to deteriorating air quality from the Camp Fire.
Santa Rosa city school officials sent out an email Monday stating that all schools would be closed on Tuesday, November 13.
“The air quality declined on Monday night, and causes serious concern about the well-being of our students, staff and families,” a statement released by school officials read.
All after-school programs and athletics were also cancelled for Tuesday. Santa Rosa officials stated that they would continue to monitor conditions and provide updates about the rest of the week. Information will be posted on www.srcschools.org, as well as the Santa Rosa school’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Sonoma County Office of Education also announced on Monday night that approximately 90 percent of their schools would be closed on Tuesday because of the air quality.
School officials ask parents to check the Office of Education website for the schools that are closed.
Meanwhile, students in the Pittsburg Unified School District will be inside all day Tuesday as the district operates on a “rainy day” schedule because of the smoky air in the area, district officials said Monday.
Recess, lunch and physical education classes will be inside and after-school sports and activities will be limited to only inside activities.
School district officials said through Facebook they plan to operate on this schedule throughout the week.
Each school’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning units will re-circulate air in the buildings rather than draw in outside air.
District officials said they re-circulated air in the buildings earlier Monday in order to prepare for Tuesday. The officials said they will continue to put out daily messages with any adjustments to the planned schedule.
As heavy smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County continued to choke Bay Area skies, earlier Monday a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been extended through the end of the work week.
Burning wood, including manufactured logs or any other solid fuel, indoors or outdoors is banned through Friday, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced Monday.
While weather conditions will vary throughout the week, air quality is expected to remain unhealthy because smoke is trapped at the surface and surrounding the region, air district officials said.
“Any additional smoke from Bay Area chimneys could push the region into an even higher unhealthy air quality level, which puts us all in jeopardy,” Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district, said in a statement.
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Bay Area residents should limit outdoor activity as much as possible on days when the alert is in effect, and should continue to listen to health information from local authorities.
When air quality is unhealthy, it’s best to stay indoors with doors and windows closed. Masks should not be used instead of remaining indoors, but if worn, they should be a new, clean N95 mask or greater that’s securely strapped for a tight seal.
Masks aren’t suitable for men with beards or young children, according to the air district.
Like cigarette smoke, wood smoke contains fine particles and carcinogenic substances that make the air harmful to breathe inside and outside.
Wood smoke is the major source of air pollution in the Bay Area during the winter and is especially harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions.
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