Two Oakhurst-area school districts told children to stay home for a second straight day Friday because of lung-searing smoke from nearby wildfires.
Yosemite Unified School District and Bass Lake School District closed Yosemite High and other Oakhurst-area schools. A statement on the Yosemite district’s website expressed hope that schools would reopen Monday.
Earlier this week, a portable air pollution monitor in Oakhurst captured a one-hour peak reading for small particles more than six times higher than the level considered “hazardous to health.”
The monitor on Tuesday recorded 601 micrograms per cubic meter for small particulates known as PM 2.5. The federal government says 75 micrograms is hazardous.
That’s not a record for forest fire pollution in Oakhurst. The Rough Fire in Hume Lake two years ago nearly reached 1,000 on the monitor.
Small particulates are harmful not only to people with respiratory conditions but can get into the lungs and the bloodstreams of even healthy people, potentially causing lung, heart and other health problems.