PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — James Hines had heard from his son, an offensive lineman at Southern Oregon, about the fires blazing through Oregon and the poor air quality that came with it.
Hearing about the smoke and seeing the smoke were two very different things for Hines.
“He told me right before we found out we were coming out here that there were a lot of fires around here and it was smoke,” said Hines, visiting Oregon from California to see his son play. “I didn’t believe it was going to be that smoky, but you rolled the windows down and it was really bad.”
The air quality was bad enough to move Southern Oregon’s home game against Eastern Oregon to Sherwood High School in Portland, a relocation process that had to come together quickly.
“The relocation has been quite a journey — quite an episode this week,” said Southern Oregon Athletic Director, Matt Sayre. “We went through a number of reiterations, trials and errors and we finally got this great offer from Sherwood High School.”
The main fire causing the poor air quality in southern Oregon is the Chetco Bar Fire, which has burned over 138,000 acres, making it the largest active fire in the country.
The smoke proved to be too much, and too unhealthy, for a game.
“We can handle the heat,” said Southern Oregon father, Ian Rogers, “as long as it’s clear.”