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News Update

Schools in area ravaged by Mills Fire have no power, remain closed

Siskiyou County schools have been struggling with the impact of the forest fires raging through the region for almost a month now, but nothing prepared school officials for the devastation of the Mills fire Friday afternoon.

The fire, which appears to have started at or near a local mill, raged through a nearby neighborhood killing two people, injuring three others and destroying 117 homes and businesses, according to CalFire. So far more than 4,000 acres have burned.

Weed High School, Weed Union Elementary School and Butteville Union Elementary School did not reopen today because the area has no power. County Superintendent of Schools Alan Carver says power could be restored later today, but that schools may not be able to reopen immediately.

Weed Union Elementary and Weed High School are located in areas that are still under an evacuation order. The County Office of Education is working with the state to adjust the order to a warning so schools can reopen.

Weed Union Elementary and Butteville Union Elementary are both single-school districts, with 337 and 164 students respectively. Weed High School is part of the Siskiyou Union High School District. It has 195 students.

The schools lost much of their food when they lost power, but the state, and an anonymous donor from Modesto with a large truck of bread, have stepped in to help replace some of it.

The Siskiyou County Office of Education will assist schools with counseling support. Its staff is getting guidance from the Butte County Office of Education, which was impacted by the Camp Fire in 2018.

Many of the other 25 districts in the county also have also been affected by the fires, with staff or students losing homes.

The Mountain fire also is blazing through the county burning almost 12,000 acres.

“It’s been a tough season,” Carver said. “We had the McKinney Fire, the Mill Fire and the Mountain Fire going on between Shasta and Scott County.”

 


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