Northlake Hills Elementary School in Castaic was closed Thursday due to the Route Fire. While the exterior was not damaged, the strong smell of smoke has prompted officials to keep the school closed Friday for fire restoration. Steve Doyle, superintendent of the Castaic Union School District, released the following message:
Good afternoon Northlake Hills Families and Staff,
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this scary fire situation. Our staff was amazing yesterday in remaining calm and ensuring the safety of all of our students and families. It has been a very difficult 24 hours in our community. I have worked closely with Captain Justin Diez of the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station to keep updated as things were constantly changing.
The good news is they were able to get a better handle on the fire but there is still much work to do. We are extremely thankful for all our first responders!
Northlake Hills Elementary School did not experience any damage. The fire burned up to the side of Ridge Route Road but thankfully it did not jump to the ridge next to the school. We did have a fire safety crew spend the night to make sure the school was protected. They will be there again tonight.
While the exterior of Northlake was not touched, inside there is a strong smoke odor. We have made the decision to keep Northlake closed tomorrow to allow us to bring a fire restoration company in tomorrow and over the weekend to reduce the smoke odor. All of the air conditioning units were shut down yesterday when the school was evacuated but the smoke has still permeated the front office, MPR and multiple classrooms. As you go towards the back of the school, the smoke smell lessens.
We do apologize and recognize that this does create difficulty for many of you. Our priority is to work diligently to get the school ready for Tuesday. We ask for kindness and compassion with each other in these trying times.