Smoky Conditions Force Cancellations Of High School Football Scrimmages
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.
View this post on Instagram
@ProvoHighSchool The green and white football game tonight has been canceled due air quality. See you all next week!
— Provo High School (@ProvoHighSchool) August 6, 2021
Due to exceptionally poor air quality, all Blue & Gold day events are postponed. We are hoping to have more info next week. pic.twitter.com/2rqdsBVUuD
— CyprusHS (@CyprusHS) August 6, 2021
New Story: Intersquad Football Scrimmage Cancelled- team photos still happening https://t.co/FBC9JSRmQY
— MVHS Bruins (@mvhsbruins) August 6, 2021
— Brighton Football (@BrightonBengal) August 6, 2021
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.”
As a result of the concerning levels of air quality, outdoor extracurricular events involving CSD students have been cancelled today. We’ll monitor the air quality in coming days to determine when activities will resume.
— Canyons District (@canyonsdistrict) August 6, 2021
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.
Thick smoke from upstream fires in northern California will remain across N Utah through the day today. Expect conditions to begin improving tonight as the winds becomes more northerly. The two images below are smoke forecasts for 3pm (2100 UTC) and 1am tonight (0700 UTC). #utwx pic.twitter.com/ZYnexciQnr
— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) August 6, 2021
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.
Air quality: Some of the worst I have EVER seen- even compared to a bad inversion day in winter. Look at Tooele numbers over 200! pic.twitter.com/i5RFfI5Xii
— Grant Weyman (@KSLweyman) August 6, 2021
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.
- 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.
@SaltLakeHealth has issued some excellent health guidance for areas impacted by wildfire smoke 1/2:
– Keep windows and doors closed
– Limit use of a swamp cooler
– Close the fresh air intake vent on window AC units
– Avoid adding to the poor air quality by burning
— Utah DEQ (@UtahDEQ) August 6, 2021
- 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.