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.