An East Valley mulch fire that broke out nine days ago continued to burn Wednesday and was 50 percent contained, according to CAL FIRE Captain Fernando Herrera.
The fire broke out near 66th Avenue and Martinez Road, at 4:32 p.m. on October 14.
The air quality issues created by the blaze have prompted a 4-day closure of Coachella Valley Unified School District schools. The first closure on October 18 came a day after 14 people at Desert Mirage High School had to be treated due to smoke-related ailments.
The smoke prompted the evacuation of hundreds of students from DMHS, Toro Canyon Middle School, and Las Palmitas Elementary. It also forced the Victory Bell game between Coachella Valley and Indio to be moved to Indio.
CVUSD Superintendent Dr. Maria G. Gandera issued the following statement about the fire’s impact on the area and schools on Tuesday: