HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Smoky Conditions Force Cancellations Of High School Football Scrimmages

Aug 6, 2021, 5:09 PM
Smoky Conditions - Utah State Capitol Building...
The view of the Capitol is obscured by smoke from the California and Oregon wildfires in Salt Lake City on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. Wildfires from the West have produced huge columns of smoke that have drifted as far east as New York, creating some of the worst air quality that state has seen in 15 years. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Smoky conditions around the state of Utah forced the cancellations and postponements of multiple high school football scrimmages due to poor air quality.

The affected scrimmages were slated to take place on Friday, August 6.

The first high school football game of the 2021 season is between Fremont and Skyridge and is schedule to be played on Thursday, August 12.

A large amount of smoke from wildfires burning in Northern California has blown in across northern Utah, dropping air quality to unhealthy levels.

High schools including Maple Mountain, Provo, Cyrpus, Mountain View, Brighton and more canceled or postponed their football scrimmages because of the poor air conditions.

The Canyons School District announced that “outdoor extracurricular events” were canceled for its schools.

For safety reasons, Canyons District has cancelled all outdoor extracurricular activities, sports events and practices today, Friday, Aug. 6,” Canyons District spokesperson Kirsten Stewart said in a statement. “We’ve been monitoring the air quality throughout the day. This afternoon as it approached “red status,” or unhealthy levels, we notified families of the suspension of activities. We hope to resume activities over the weekend, but will keep an eye on the air quality and notify families of any future cancellations.”

Smoky Conditions Across Utah

Meteorologists said a cold front will move across northern Utah, shifting south and east through the day Friday, and smoke will “increase markedly in concentration” behind the front.

Air quality is expected to drop to unhealthy levels across northern Utah, especially in Salt Lake County.

“If you are in a population that is sensitive to poor air quality — those with heart or lung conditions including asthma, young children and adults 65+, and pregnant individuals should reduce or better yet avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outside,” officials with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality said.

The smoke is coming from multiple fires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in Northern California and Oregon, including the Dixie Fire, which burned through the town of Greenville, California, on Thursday.

The Dixie Fire had burned over 430,000 acres as of Friday and was 35% contained.

Current air quality conditions can be seen here. State fire officials have not reported any new wildfires as of 10 a.m. Friday, and Centerville police reported its dispatch center is being overwhelmed with calls about the smoke.

Officials said the smoke and hazy conditions are not currently affecting flights into Salt Lake City International Airport, but flights could be impacted if conditions worsen.

Reduce Smoke Exposure Outdoors

Officials with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality say if it’s smoky outdoors, it’s best to limit the amount of time you spend outside. Soot and fine particulates can cause coughing, wheezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat and difficulty breathing.

Tips

  • Reduce your physical activity outdoors.
  • Know your air quality. Smoke levels can change a lot during the day, so wait until air quality is better before you are active outdoors. Visit air.utah.gov or download the free UtahAir app for iPhone and Android for air-quality forecasts and current air-quality conditions.
  • Have enough food and medication on hand to last several days, so you don’t have to go out for supplies. If you must go out, avoid the smokiest times of the day.

  • Reduce smoke in your vehicle by closing the windows and vents and running the air conditioner in recirculate mode.
  • Do not rely on dust masks from the hardware store or bandanas for protection from smoke. If you must be out in smoky conditions, an N95 respirator can protect you if it fits snugly to your face and is worn properly.
  • Have a plan to evacuate. Know how you will get alerts and health warnings, including air-quality reports and public service announcements (PSAs). Public advisories can provide important information such as changing smoke conditions and evacuation notices. Know your evacuation routes, organize your important items ahead of time, and know where to go in case you have to evacuate.

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Smoky Conditions Force Cancellations Of High School Football Scrimmages