LODI, CA (November 16, 2018)—Lodi Unified School District’s (Lodi USD) schools have canceled all outdoor activities due to growing health concerns associated with the poor air quality. The Butte County Camp Fire, now known as the “deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history” has continued to blaze over the last week, consuming approximately 142,000 acres and destroying nearly 10,000 structures, according to the latest updates by CALFIRE. Although it is estimated that the fire is now 45 percent contained, with expected full containment by November 30, 2018, the smoke impacts from the fire have led to health cautions for the Central Valley.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Air District) has announced that health cautions will remain in place until the fire is extinguished. The Air District has also recommended that outdoor activity plans be revised in accordance with air quality conditions and pursuant to their Real-Time Outdoor Activity Risk (ROAR) guidelines.
Following the recommendations and guidance from the Air District and San Joaquin County Public Health Services, Lodi USD sent notices that they would cancel outdoor activity and keep students indoors as much as possible. Lodi USD has continued to provide staff and parents with updates via emails, phone messages, social media, and the District website throughout the week.
Lodi USD has also communicated their gratitude to staff and parents for their understanding and support as the community continues to face poor air quality. Lodi USD acknowledged the concerns raised by their staff and parents, stating “we want to assure you that the health and wellbeing of our staff and students is our top priority. The decision to keep our schools open was not taken lightly and we believe that it was the best course of action for today.”
Lodi USD noted that they have continued to confer with the Air District and local public health officials regarding the operation of schools. Lodi USD has enacted a number of safety measures to alleviate and address concerns, such as the cancellation of outdoor activity, indoor lunch times, and alerts regarding the air quality on their website. In addition, parents that wished to keep their children home due to air quality concerns were able to secure excused absences for their children as long as a note was provided to the school.
Lodi will continue to provide updates to staff and parents via email, phone messages, social media, and the District website. If staff or parents need additional information, they are encouraged to contact their school principals.
About Lodi Unified School District
Lodi Unified School District is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Home to 49 school sites, Lodi USD provides high-quality education to a diverse population of 29,000 students. Lodi USD encompasses more than 350 square miles, including the Cities of Lodi and Stockton as well as the rural communities of Acampo, Clements, Lockeford, Victor, and Woodbridge.