News

Local schools remain open as smoky skies persist in Valley

North Bay fires rage on, local responders join control and support efforts

Air quality remains poor throughout the Tri-Valley due to smoke from the extreme wildfires burning through Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties, and a health advisory, spare the air alert and red flag warning remained in effect Thursday, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

While all Pleasanton Unified School District campuses remained open Thursday -- with certain precautions taken -- district officials decided that all after-school outdoor activities and athletics would be canceled.

PUSD schools will be open as usual on Friday, though a decision on after-school athletics has not been confirmed yet.

Precautions implemented at schools today included no outdoor PE classes, lunches held indoors and shutting all windows and doors.

As of Thursday, the fire count across California stands at 21 -- one less than on Wednesday because two fires merged. Since they started on Sunday, the wildfires have killed 26 people, destroyed thousands of structures and burned almost 200,000 acres state-wide, according to emergency officials.

Specifically in the Bay Area, the fires raging through Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties are responsible for 16 deaths and the most any of these fire has been contained is 10%.

"We are a long way from being done with this catastrophe," Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said.

Over 8,000 firefighters have been deployed on the fire lines and around 640 law enforcement offers have been assisting with other needs like shelter security and asking people to evacuate -- these numbers include local responders.

According to deputy fire chief Joe Testa, the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department has dispatched three fire engines and one wildfire specialist to the Tubbs Fire in Napa, the Atlas Fire in Sonoma and the Adobe Fire in Bennett Valley.

Starting Wednesday, the Pleasanton Police Department also has been providing aid to the areas in crisis, according to the department's Facebook page.

"Pleasanton officers are supporting the NorCal fire fighting efforts today by assisting with evacuations in threatened areas," the department's page says. "One officer described the area as the 'closest thing I have seen to what looks like a war zone since I was overseas.' Our hearts are with everyone impacted by the fires raging in Northern California."

Editor's note: Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this report.

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