Air quality in Shasta County affected by Happy Camp Fire

Air quality in Shasta County affected by Happy Camp Fire

REDDING, Calif. - Wednesday, the Shasta County air quality index went from good to unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children.

High levels of smoke were seen early Wednesday morning in parts of Shasta County.

School officials at Anderson Heights Elementary School decided to take recess and lunch inside because the air quality posed a potential threat to the students.

Third grade teacher Shirley Quibell said safety comes first for the students.

"We just want to keep them healthy so they come to school everyday. It is just a good policy to always err on the side of caution anyway," said Quibell. "So when we are alerted we keep our students inside."

Turtle Bay Elementary in Redding also took caution by allowing recess but limiting how active the kids can be.

"We always sort of go with what seems safest for the children. So that might change from hour-to-hour," said Principal Linda Lawhon.

Lawhon said her decision was made early in the day when the smoke was the heaviest.

"This morning actually the air quality was quite awful. It was even a little hard to breathe so we made the decision this morning that we don't want children to be very active today," Lawhon said.

Turtle Bay Elementary also postponed all after school sports activities until the air clears up. 

Shasta County Air Quality District Manager Ross Bell said these levels are abnormal. He said they are visible because of the wind.

"That smoke level was higher than normal and it appeared to come from the Happy Camp Fires," Bell said.

The Happy Camp Fires are burning in Siskyou County.

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