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NewsFireMilpitas Air Quality at "Very Unhealthy" Levels due to Smoke

Milpitas Air Quality at “Very Unhealthy” Levels due to Smoke



NOTE: This article first ran this past Thursday night. As of this bolded update, on Saturday at 10:08AM, Milpitas air quality is at 159 — a solid improvement, headed back toward the classification of “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

Milpitas air quality levels have been compromised due to smoke from the Butte County campfire, 190 miles north of here. As of this writing, Weather Underground has Milpitas’ Air Quality Index at 214 (purple in color), meaning “very unhealthy”, which means that “active people of all ages who exercise or work vigorously outdoors are at increased risk.”

A wider view of the Bay Area on AirNow shows an increasing amount of “very unhealthy” smoke spreading throughout the region.  

Stale air has kept the Bay Area choked with smoke for the past week, and eagerly awaiting new winds from the east and southeast (expected on Saturday) which will help get the smoke moving out of the region. However, for a full return to clear air, we will likely have to await rainfall expected to coincide with Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

This morning, Milpitas Unified School District Superintendent Cheryl Jordan sent out a mass email explaining that students district-wide would be kept indoors due to the “unhealthy” air rating, and that school sports would either be cancelled or held indoors. School closures, Jordan explained, would occur in the event of a “hazardous” AQI reading of 300 or above.

In the meantime, the Milpitas Office of Emergency Services initiated daytime shelter hours at the Sports Center, Community Center, Barbara Lee Senior Center, and Milpitas Library.

Closures were announced at San Jose City College, Evergreen Valley College, the Community College Extension at Milpitas, and the SJECCD District Office until Monday, November 19, when classes are scheduled to resume as normal.

Take it slow, stay indoors as much as possible, wear recommended masks outdoors, and hang in there.

All authorities are pointing to the weekend as the nearest potential turning point.


Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.


  1. The sad part is the district claims kids are indoors and in the elementary schools that may be true. Go to the Junior High Schools and High School, you will notice that students are not being kept indoors.
    My son has allergies categorized as high risk and nothing has been done to keep him inside. These kids dont want to be singled out.
    So they do not go indoors.
    My daughter also is dealing with coughing no one has informed or directed her to stay indoors.
    The email was sent out but no accountability. We parents put our kids in there care and assume they are doing what they say.
    In this case for the last week this is not true.
    The administration asked all teachers on duty to remain indoors to supervise students in their classrooms… so who is supervising outdoors and getting kids indoors??


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