Bishop’s and Mammoth Lakes’ Schools Forced to Close Because of “Very Poor Air Quality”

The smoke from the Creek Fire continues to degrade air quality in Mammoth Lakes and Bishop to unhealthy and hazardous, threatening the health of residents, students and visitors to the area as well.

If only we could get back to clear blue skies instead of the brown haze and lung-choking smoke from the Creek Fire continues to pour into Mammoth Lakes and the Bishop area.

Bishop Schools look forward to a time when COVID-19 and hazardous air quality becomes distant memories…and there is a sense of “normalcy.”

The following news release was posted on the Mammoth Lakes Unified School District website this morning, stating that “In-person programs closed due to very poor air quality this morning:

“MUSD School Programs including Husky Club are closed today, Monday, October19 due to extremely hazardous air quality. Distance Learning continues.

Air quality is more than triple the hazardous rating this morning. The AQI is 1606.which means that we need to close school programs, including Husky Club. All MUSD in-person programs and buildings will be closed today.

When the air quality reaches these levels, smoke gets into the school buildings, particularly the multi-purpose rooms, and it is not safe for students to be there. We are very sorry for the ongoing inconvenience.”

While the air quality in Mammoth Lakes is as much as ten-fold worse than in Bishop, the air quality in the Bishop Unified School District is still “Unhealthy” at best, and “Very Unhealthy” to “Hazardous” at it worst. It’s day-to-day and parents will need to listen to the radio, visit the school websites, or call the schools’ administration offices for advice on whether their student should attend school or stay home.

Both districts face the same dilemma and essentially are following the same policy ib Smoke Day”: No in-person instruction; only distance learning until the air quality improves.

BUSD, which closed schools today, issued this statement later: “BUSD will make a Smoke Day decision tomorrow morning at 6:00am. Air Quality (AQI) levels above 200 and/or Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) readings above 75 may warrant another Smoke Day. Hang in there everyone and stay safe!”

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What Next
What Next
11 months ago

yeah, Well my grandkids went to school anyway because we weren’t notified in time. It was the first day back for Home Street. All the teachers and administrators are there, getting paid, breathing the smoke. So I ask, is the air quality better at my house than at school? How much more ridiculous can this shutdown crap get? Should I put a bag over the kids’ heads? Will that make the air quality better? By the way, unless one has a properly fitted N95 or better mask, walking around with a pathetic piece of cloth over your face does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Anyone who tries to tell you that those fool masks prevent the smoke from getting you are either stupid or some kind of weird sociopath that gets a kick out of watching dumb people hurt themselves.

Charles James
11 months ago
Reply to  What Next

It’s hard to disagree with you on the efficacy of face cloth masks. Cloth masks are worthless for protection from smoke from wildfires, and they can only filter out the larger particulate matter found in the smoke from the wildfires. Not inhaling soot and ash however, seems like a good idea. As does staying indoors and avoiding going outside, if possible.

Ideally, everyone of every age should have easy, affordable access to quality medical-grade N95 or equivalent respirator-style face masks for protection from both the coronavirus and smoke. The problem continues to be that the whole country is having difficulty just keeping up with the PPE supply needs of the medical community, essential workers, and those with chronic medical conditions at greatest risk from the coronavirus, respiratory illnesses, and smoke from wildfires. California is not the only state with massive wildfires, nor is the United States the only one having the same problems and issues we have. Countries around the world are being consumed by fires and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The theory of cloth masks seems to be that most face cloth masks are “better than nothing,” which is a pretty low bar, but the higher principle, or goal, is that by wearing a mask, you are protecting others from you infecting someone else with something, and they, by wearing a mask, in turn, giving the same consideration to you and others. Hopefully, something will eventually change.

Canyon Kid
Canyon Kid
11 months ago

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
That’s when the smoke will end.
The SQF fire started Aug. 19th
and is now in it’s 3rd month.
The inciweb page says they are letting it burn to the North,
so its snowdance time.