Rough Fire impacts Dunlap's youngest community members

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Mountain communities are on edge watching the Rough Fire's path. Despite the chaos, students are still heading to class. (KFSN)

Mountain communities are on edge watching the Rough Fire's path. Despite the chaos, students are still heading to class.

These Dunlap students are playing music and finding fun inside the classroom, instead of being outside where smoke from the Rough Fire is covering the mountain communities.

Dunlap Elementary School Principal Keith Merrihew said, "The past week has been pretty hectic. We're dealing with a couple of concerns, the fire concern. Who isn't dealing with that right now? We also have smoke conditions that have created a concern for the school site."

Merrihew has been keeping in touch with fire officials and updating parents online, as the fire burns. The intense smoke has forced school officials to take steps to keep kids safe.

"We've modified PE, so we still have a PE class running in the classroom," said Merrihew. "We have some other activities. We're on a non-exertion policy all the kids know that."

The playground has been empty, but kids have been creative inside classrooms. Teachers are trying to keep their minds busy, while many of their families are on evacuation warnings.

While keeping kids healthy is important, Merrihew says they're also supporting each other emotionally. Just Wednesday, a new fire sparked in Squaw Valley and hit too close to home.

"I happened to be in the room when mom explained to her that their house was on fire, she was a 2nd grader," said Merrihew. "Something like that is hard to hear. We're all in this job because we love kids and we want the best for them and bad things happen, it cuts pretty deep."

A loss each one of them feels.

Officials say they plan to continue having a normal schedule here at school for students. And if the fire burns close they know this community will come together.



Related Topics:
educationeducationwildfirefresno countyDunlap
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