As smoke from the raging Camp fire in Butte County continues to fill Sonoma County skies and taint air quality, officials announced the closure of all Sonoma County school districts Friday.
As of 7:45 a.m., the Sonoma County Office of Education announced all school districts in Sonoma County are closed either because of air quality concerns or for pre-scheduled staff development days. Dunham and Liberty school districts in Petaluma were closed for staff development.
“At 5 a.m. this morning, the air quality reading was quite poor and was predicted to decline rapidly, which has since happened. Based on this prediction, all Sonoma County school districts made the decision to close school,” said county Superintendent Steve Herrington.
Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College also were shut down Friday amid smoky conditions from the Camp fire.
“The air quality is nearing the hazardous range, and we believe it is safer for students and staff to remain indoors,” Santa Rosa City Schools said in a statement Friday morning.
The Camp fire, which ignited Thursday, has devastated 20,000 acres near Chico and promoted evacuations, according to Cal Fire. The fire is more than 100 miles away from Sonoma County.
There were no active fires reported in Sonoma County Friday morning, a Redcom dispatcher said.
A Spare the Air Alert was in place for the Bay Area through Friday because of the heavy smoke impacts, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Thursday’s air quality was the worst the region has experienced all year, spokeswoman Kristine Roselius said. It was too early to tell how Friday’s air quality would measure up, she said.
The City of Santa Rosa also announced that most of its facilities would be closed Friday in an attempt to safeguard the health and safety of staff and residents, according to a news release. Police and fire stations, transit operations facilities and the Laguna Treatment Plant will remain open.
All scheduled programming, public meetings, and facility rentals will be canceled. Public meetings will be rescheduled and city staff will contact those who planned to participate in programs and activities to schedule makeup dates, according to the statement.
County of Sonoma offices were slated to remain open, a spokeswoman said.
In neighboring Lake County, all Lake County Office of Education preschools in Lakeport and Kelseyville were closed Friday because of poor air quality, according to a Facebook post from the district. All schools within the Lake County Unified School District and the Kelseyville Unified School District were also closed Friday, according to the statement.
In Mendocino County, Ukiah and Willits Unified School districts were both closed Friday, according to the Mendocino County Office of Education’s Manager of Maintenance and Operations John Havemann. The district’s office in Ukiah also was closed, and adult, alternative and special education programs were canceled, Havemann said.
The Calistoga Joint Unified School District was the only Napa County district to see a closure, according to Napa County Office of Education spokeswoman Seana Wagner.
The poor air quality has prompted not only school closures, but a slew of cancellations and rescheduling of prep sports events.
North Bay League cross country meets scheduled for Friday and Saturday have been rescheduled for Tuesday at Spring Lake.
A full lineup of North Coast Section football games scheduled for Friday and Saturday have been pushed to Monday including: American Canyon at Rancho Cotate, Ukiah at Campolindo, Encinal at Cardinal Newman, Cloverdale at Kelseyville, St. Helena at Salesian and Tomales at Branson.
As of 7:45am, all school districts in Sonoma County are closed either due to air quality concerns or for pre-scheduled staff development days. Dunham and Liberty school districts in Petaluma are closed for staff development.