Heat and air quality a concern as students head back to school

It's back to school day for thousands of students across the Valley
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As thousands more students around the Valley head back to school, temperatures are expected to soar into the triple digits. Hazy sunshine and poor air quality can be expected as the high in Fresno reaches 107 degrees.

And it's not just schools across Fresno heading back to school. Schools in foothills with in Yosemite Unified and Kings Canyon Unified will also be back in session along with Orange Center Elementary in Fresno County.

In the North Valley, all Merced City Schools will go back to class in just a little while. Madera Unified also starts the new semester today. And in the South Valley Porterville Unified students will meet their new teachers.

Air quality is going to be a concern this week as many kids head back to school.

The Valley Air District issued a red flag day yesterday due to poor air quality. Stagnant conditions, rising temperatures, and fires in the region are to blame. Officials say parents in idling cars could add to the problem here in Fresno.

"Time it so you're not spending as much time in front of that school. Find a way to shut your car off and not produce unnecessary emissions that contribute to overall Valley air quality, and are going to be breathed by the children that come right out of those schools -- and into your vehicle," said Heather Heinks, Valley Air District.

The Valley Air District says poor air quality can trigger asthma attacks and cause long term respiratory problems. Staff members recommend staying indoors when possible and doing any outdoor activities in the morning or after the sun goes down.
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