[Update: 8 p.m.]: In an email to parents and guardians, SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati announced that Malibu-area schools (Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School, Webster Elementary School and Malibu High School) would remain closed through Friday, Dec. 8.

The SMMUSD Emergency Operations Center met and decided that while conditions in Santa Monica improved, there was still "heightened concern" about fire conditions in Malibu, according to the email.

An earlier alert sent out by the City of Malibu advised residents to be on guard for possible evacuations through Saturday. 


All schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District were closed Thursday, Dec. 7 due to smoke from multiple fires around the Los Angeles area.

"We are concerned about staff and families as this smoke, air quality and fire threat may turn very quickly throughout the day," a message from the district sent to news media on Wednesday evening stated.

Fire danger throughout the LA area was expected to peak on Thursday, as much of the area from Ventura County through to Orange County was under a red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service.

According to Cal Fire and the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index, Ventura and LA counties would be under a red "high" threat level Thursday (downgraded from an expected purple "extreme" threat level). Orange County and San Diego County were under purple threat levels Thursday.

The Santa Monica Mountains area was expected to have an air quality index of 82—moderate—throughout the day Thursday, so "unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion," according to airnow.gov.

The school district had not yet determined whether classes would resume Friday.

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