Sun rising through the smoke in Sonoma County

Sun rising through the smoke in Sonoma County, Nov. 9, 2018.

On June 4, State Sen. Mike McGuire, along with a contingent of air quality experts and education leaders, will announce the development of clear statewide guidelines for school districts to use when communities are inundated with smoke from wildfires.

According to a statement from McGuire’s office, the guidelines were developed following months of meetings and negotiations between multiple statewide organizations and public agencies. The working group was formed following last year’s devastating Camp Fire, which inundated dozens of communities with smoke and forced the cancelation of multiple school days all throughout Northern California.

The initiative is called “Get Smart about Wildfire Smoke: Clear Guidelines for California Schools,” according to the statement.

Sonoma County Office of Education Superintendent of Schools Steve Herrington has been lobbying for such guidelines since controversy over school closures erupted when the Camp Fire blanketed the area with thick smoke in 2018.

The working group will discuss and release the newly established guidelines at a press conference in Sacramento. Copies of the guidelines will be distributed immediately following the press conference. The guidelines will be distributed to all California school districts prior to the upcoming school year, ensuring they have the information they need to make educated decisions, according to the statement.

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