Smoke From Camp Fire Causes Bay Area Schools To Close On Friday

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Smoke roiling from the Camp Fire continues to travel into the San Francisco Bay Area, causing unhealthy air quality conditions to persist. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District wrote on their Facebook page that it’s expected to last through Tuesday, November 20, and has also spurred a Winter Spare the Air Alert to be enforced until that same date.

During a Winter Spare the Air Alert, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said the following.

“Burning wood, including manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, indoors or outdoors, is banned throughout this Winter Spare the Air Alert.”

List Of School And College Closings

Schools and colleges responded to some of the worst levels of air quality the regions ever experienced in the area by announcing closures. According to ABC News 7, San Francisco Unified School District and Oakland Unified announced they would be closing their schools Friday, Nov. 16.

See the link below for the listings of closures. The list continues to be updated.

The current listing of school and college closings on Friday, Nov. 16 and beyond.

Why Smoke Is Hovering Over the Bay Area

Today marks the eighth day that Bay Area residents are experiencing heavy, lingering smoke surrounding them like a thick blanket. High pressure to the west of the region continues to steer smoke from the Camp Fire there, and the smoke is additionally staying trapped in the atmosphere due to the same high-pressure system capping it. The result of this weather system is that it is causing smoke to concentrate close to the Earth’s surface.

Safety Guidelines For Residents

Bay Area Air Quality additionally used Twitter to inform Bay Area residents of guidelines on how to best protect their health from the Camp Fire smoke. Their advice is to stay indoors with the windows and doors shut. If people do venture out, the agency said it’s best for them to wear masks that filter out bad air quality.

They also tweeted that the masks should not be used in lieu of staying indoors. Bay Area Air Quality said that if people were venturing out and wearing masks that they should “be a new, clean N95 mask or greater, securely strapped for a tight seal.” They added that the masks were not designed for young children or men that have beards.


Concerned parent Laura Tam responded and asked what parents should do to protect the “most fragile little lungs out there” if the masks don’t fit them. The pollution control agency retweeted their answer to her and everyone and reiterated that the first and best defense against inhaling smoky air was for everyone, including children, to stay indoors and keep the doors and windows closed.

The November 16 school and university closings are intended to help students in the San Francisco Bay Area stay inside and limit their time exposed to the unhealthy air. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District shared an image of the hazy air, along with an aerial image that shows the wide swath of smoke hovering over the region on social media.