Wildfire Smoke AQ Guidance for Schools

The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) has provided a revised guidance recommendations (activity guide) for schools when there is wildfire smoke:

  • NCUAQMD Wildfire Smoke Guidance and Recommended Activity Guide for Schools During Wildfires (NCUAQMD 4/19)

  • On June 4, 2019, the California Department of Education (CDE) provided the CDE Air Quality Guidance Template for Schools, which provides recommendations for schools and others responsible for children during a wildfire smoke and other air quality event(s). The CDE guidance template provides health recommendations for schools, coaches, and event coordinators regarding student exposure to fine particles (smoke and dust) air pollution. The CDE recommends consulting with your local county office of education, local school districts, local public health agency, and the local air district to best determine what applies in your school district. The guidelines are designed to assist schools in their decision-making process, and were based on the U.S. EPA and CDC's Air Quality and Outdoor Activity Guidance for Schools and Wildfire Smoke - A Guide for Public Health Officials (CARB/CDPH) - Rev 2019.

    How to determine what action your school should take during a wildfire
    Current air quality information (forecast AQI) and updates during wildfires are issued to school staff via a email distribution and published on our Wildfire Smoke - AQI Forecasts webpage.

    The NCUAQMD monitors the smoke impacts from active wildfires and works closely with the Public Health Departments of Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity Counties for public health notifications. Wildfire smoke air quality notifications may be issued as necessary by the NCUAQMD as a joint message from its wildfire smoke notification area partners - Humboldt County, Hoopa Valley Tribe, Trinity County, Karuk Tribe, Del Norte County, and the Wiyot Tribe.

    Public Service Announcements (PSA) are issued to provide general information regarding air quality, and alert the public to the potential for decreased air quality. Typically, a PSA will indicate when certain areas are forecast to be in the "Moderate"to "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" range. Subsequent wildfire smoke announcements are issued as conditions change.

    Air Quality Advisories may be issued when the air quality in certain areas is forecast' to be in the "Unhealthy" range.

    Air Quality Alerts may be issued when the air quality in certain areas is forecast to be "Hazardous".
    Here are the actions to protect yourself from wildfire smoke depending on the forecasted EPA Air Quality Index (AQI) range (24-hr avg):

    Current air quality information (forecast AQI) and updates during wildfires are issued via a email distribution and published on our Wildfire Smoke - AQI Forecasts webpage.

    For additional information visit the links below:
    Resource Links:
  • Current Air Quality Maps & AQI
  • Other Informative Links:
  • Using Masks-Respirators for Wildfire Smoke(EPA)
  • Protecting children from Wildfire Smoke & Ash (EPA)
  • Indoor Air Filtration (EPA)
  • Wildfire Smoke - A Guide for Public Health Officials (CARB/CDPH) - Rev 2019
  • Current Information
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