Schools returning to normal hours Tuesday after closing early due to Doral trash fire

Miami Herald | By Omar Rodriguez Ortiz | February 21, 2023

Two Miami-Dade County schools that closed early Friday due to a massive, weeklong fire at an energy plant in Doral are set to return to a normal schedule Tuesday, officials said.

Though operations will resume as normal at Ronald W. Reagan Senior High School and Andrea Castillo Preparatory Academy, outdoor activities after sunset are suspended, Jaquelyn Diaz, a Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokeswoman, told the Miami Herald on Monday.

Parents of students at both schools were encouraged to pick up their children early on Friday out of an abundance of caution stemming from air quality concerns.

On Sunday, the county recommended that residents experiencing smoky conditions remain indoors, particularly during the evening and at night. But on Monday, the county said residents can again enjoy outdoor activities.

“We encourage you to be mindful that conditions may vary throughout the day as the wind changes and to head indoors if you experience smoky conditions,” the county said Monday in a news release. “We recommend running your air conditioning at home to re-circulate air in your house, and changing your air filter more frequently than usual.”

First responders are working 24/7 to extinguish the flames that, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report, caused “unhealthy” smoke levels last week. On Saturday, an EPA official said air quality levels had steadily improved.

“Smoke levels continue to significantly improve,” the county noted Monday.

On Feb. 12, four of 11 buildings at Covanta Energy, 6990 NW 97th Ave., a county-owned facility in Doral that specializes in burning waste to produce energy, caught fire. The blaze collapsed roofs and walls, preventing firefighters from quickly accessing the area to douse the flames.

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