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Schools canceled Friday, pollution alert issued

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Washoe County schools are canceled again tomorrow. It’s the third time this week schools have been canceled for smoke pollution from surrounding area wildfires.

“We have continued to monitor the Loyalton fire situation and the many other Northern California complex fires,” said school Superintendent Kristen McNeill. “Just as I had to deliver the message yesterday afternoon, unfortunately, all indicators are that the smoke tomorrow, Friday, August 21, is forecast to cause unhealthy air quality according to the Washoe County Health District.”

Just before the school district’s announcement, the Health District issued a Stage 1 Air Pollution Alert for Washoe County. That means air quality is in the unhealthy to very unhealthy range.

“We understand from our partner agencies that the smoke is forecast to continue to remain in our area next week at unhealthy levels,” McNeill added.

Health officials are telling everyone to remain indoors if possible.

“Smoke impacts can affect some people more than others,” said District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “Sensitive populations that are more susceptible to smoke impacts include children, the elderly, people with heart or lung problems, active adults and people with current respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. We encourage everyone to be smoke smart and stay informed of air quality in Washoe County.”

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