Monday, June 25 , 2018, 4:56 am | Overcast 63º


Southern Santa Barbara County Schools Close Thursday Due to Thomas Fire

Many campuses will remain closed Friday due to poor air quality from the fire burning in Ventura County

All South County K-12 schools decided to close Thursday due to the impacts of the Thomas Fire raging in nearby Ventura County, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido said, and SBCC, UCSB and Westmont College also canceled classes.

The K-12 closures include the Carpinteria Unified School District, Santa Barbara Unified School District, Goleta Union School District, Hope Elementary School District, Cold Spring School, Montecito Union School, Peabody Charter School, Adelante Charter School, and private schools including Cate School in Carpinteria. 

Santa Barbara City College also closed its campuses Thursday.

The air monitoring stations in Goleta and Santa Barbara recorded "very unhealthy" levels Thursday morning, according to the Air Pollution Control District

School districts sent messages to parents and staff announcing the decision and posted the news on social media.

Santa Barbara Unified spokeswoman Lauren Bianchi Klemann said all certificated and classified staff members were asked not to report to work Thursday, and that all facilities would be on standby for emergency personnel. 

A Santa Barbara County air quality warning remained in effect Thursday morning as monitoring stations recorded “very unhealthy” levels due to the Thomas Fire. Click to view larger
A Santa Barbara County air quality warning remained in effect Thursday morning as monitoring stations recorded “very unhealthy” levels due to the Thomas Fire.  (Air Pollution Control District photo)

Many schools announced plans to close Friday as well, including the Santa Barbara Unified School District. 

The Thomas Fire burned 96,000 acres as of Thursday morning and the mandatory evacuation zones reached into Santa Barbara County for the first time Wednesday. 

UC Santa Barbara and Westmont College canceled their classes Thursday due to the smoke-related air quality warning in effect. 

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story. 

Thomas Fire information can be found on the Ventura County website, the Santa Barbara County website and the CalFire incident page here.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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