Three Metro Vancouver schools suspend classes on Monday due to smoke

Sep 14 2020, 9:32 am

After a fire tore through New Westminster’s Pier Park on Sunday night at the same time that smoke from wildfires in the US continues to result in air quality advisories throughout the Lower Mainland, three schools in New Westminster suspended classes on Monday as a result.

In a statement, the school district said that classes have been suspended at QayQayt Elementary, Queen Elizabeth Elementary, and Queensborough Middle School.

“These three schools have had classes suspended and we’re asking parents to keep their kids at home … due to the additional impact of the New Westminster Pier Park fire,” the district states.

For parents that “need to drop their children off today, there will be supervision that will maintain the learning group integrity,” the district added. “All children at the affected schools will remain indoors, all day.”

The Pier Park fire began on Sunday evening, and late Sunday night, the city’s mayor, Jonathan Cote, said the fire was being contained to the old part of the pier but that it is likely the old pier of the park will be completely destroyed.

On Monday morning, Cote tweeted that he had again visited the scene of the fire and that while the fire is “still going,” it is now “fully contained to the old pier section.”

Even still, Cote said the fire could “last a few days,” and crews will not be able to fully extinguish it “until they remove the deck.”

The fire comes at the same time that Metro Vancouver enters another day under an air quality advisory due to heavy smoke in the region from wildfires in the US.

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