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Becker schools to close Thursday near Northern Metal fire

"We apologize for this inconvenience, but believe the safety of our students and staff is our most important decision in all we do".

BECKER, Minn. — The superintendent of Becker Public Schools said classes are canceled for Thursday, even as firefighters from multiple departments continue to fight a stubborn fire at a nearby recycling plant.

Superintendent Jeremy Schmidt said in a letter Wednesday evening that the decision was made in light of "the large fire at Northern Metal Recycling Plant still taking place and due to expected changes in wind direction along with information from a variety of agencies."

The district had said on Tuesday that school would remain open as it continued to monitor air quality, and make its decisions "based on wind direction, indoor air quality, and recommendations from city and county leadership."

Then Wednesday, Schmidt cited a new Becker Police news release that said, "The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Health recommend that people who have concerns about their health should seek advice from a medical care professional. In the meantime, advice to shelter in place or move away from the source of the smoke is the right advice for nearby occupants."

Schmidt said the district is encouraging everyone to follow those recommendations. 

RELATED: Stubborn fire at Becker recycling yard triggers air quality concerns

"We apologize for this inconvenience, but believe the safety of our students and staff is our most important decision in all we do," Schmidt said.