PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — High school football is back in Oregon this weekend, but poor air quality means some games could possibly be rescheduled or even cancelled.
Central High School in Independence is scheduled to play at Bend High School this Friday, but Bend’s air quality, currently listed as “very unhealthy” on the index chart, is forcing their head coach to consider a change.
“Talking to a couple community people there, they weren’t even able to go outside,” said Shane Hedrick, the athletic director and head coach at Central. “So it’s a real concern over there, the air quality.
“This is one here that’s a first for us,” he said.
Currently, two dozen Oregon wildfires — including the Chetco Bar fire, which as of Tuesday night had burned 125,271 acres — are burning at a size larger than half the state of Rhode Island. The blazes have had a direct affect on air quality across the state.
In Bend, the hazardous air quality has had an affect on all athletic activities.
“Yesterday we moved inside about a quarter of the way through some of our outdoor practices,” said Bend Athletic Director Dave Williams.
Hedrick has already thought of contingency plans if the two teams can’t play in Bend. One option is to move the game Central’s Panthers Stadium.