Poor air quality doesn’t stop outdoor practice for valley schools

Fire

FRESNO California (KSEE) – Fires in both Northern and Southern California have been burning for more than a week. Now that smoke is being pushed towards the Central Valley. 

Fresno State Student Alec Terrazas said everyone has been on edge because of the poor air quality.

“Everyone has been seeing it over the past few days. It looks like a layer of smog over the entire city,” said Terrazas.

The layer is not smog but instead a layer of dust and smoke that moved into the valley prompting a long-lasting air quality alert. Cassandra Melching with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District said people with asthma or a lung condition should stay indoors.

“If you happen to look outside and you happen to smell dust or smell smoke and you see it, you are obviously being impacted by it. So, take precaution,” said Melching.

Carolina Perez is a Fresno State Student. She said seeing the layers of smoke and dust is alarming. 

“I live an hour away in Orange Cove and coming in from there I can see the haze like crystal clear it was crazy,” said Perez. 

Monday’s air quality was so bad Fresno State cancelled all outdoor classes, practices, and activities. But the air quality index improved on Tuesday so it’s back to business as usual.

“We will continue to monitor it and see how the situation unfolds,” said Fresno State’s Lisa Boyles. “There isn’t like a specific number where we decide we are going to cancel things if it gets to this level because that number shifts constantly.”

Fresno Unified School District will also continue holding outdoor PE and practices for their students unless the air quality index gets worse. Athletic Manager Brett Mar said students haven’t complained about the bad air.

“We are telling our schools that if they see or smell smoke that they need to make necessary changes,” said Mar. “Maybe monitoring practices time or modifying recess or lunch hour.”

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