Hood River County teachers and administrators have been scrambling to keep students in school as firefighters attempt to contain the Eagle Creek Fire.

Superintendent Dan Goldman talked to “All Things Considered” host Kate Davidson about the challenges facing the district, which includes Cascade Locks, where much of the town had to evacuate.

The district has moved some students to another campus and temporary classrooms. Administrators have also sent buses to shelters and motels in Hood River and on the Washington side of the Columbia River.

“That has been quite an amazing operational feat,” Goldman said. “We are running transportation to the Skamania Red Cross Center, and then we pick students up in various hotels. We’ve been making stops and picking kids up along the way.”

Air quality is a big concern for district leaders and parents. Last week, school was canceled one day because smoke from the fire grew so thick.

“The air quality had gotten so bad that we felt we couldn’t put kids outside waiting or buses,” Goldman said. “Also our schools were filling up with smoke. That was the hardest day for us.“ 

Hear the full conversation in the audio player at the top of the page.