SPOKANE, Wash. -- The smoke blanketing our region may affect high school and college football games this weekend.
All four of local college teams are home this weekend for football, and three of them, Whitworth, Eastern Washington and Washington State play their games outdoors. Idaho plays inside the Kibbie Dome.
School leaders at both at the college and high school level said they are playing it by ear and are keeping a close eye on the air quality index. The rule of thumb across the board is if the air quality index reaches 150 or higher, which is unhealthy, the game has to be cancelled or moved inside.
Washington State University officials said it plans on moving forward with its Saturday evening game. Associate Director of Athletics Bill Stevens confirmed they are monitoring air quality conditions and communicating closely with university administration and the Pac-12 Conference. So for now, the Cougs, plan on making your trek back to Pullman Saturday for the second game of the season.
As for Whitworth, they have to make the call by Thursday night before Whittier College boards their plane to Spokane. Sports Information Director Steve Flegel said they have reached out to the University of Idaho to use the Kibbie Dome, but were told "no" due to lack of availability. So at this point, if conditions are still poor Thursday, Whitworth will have to cancel the Saturday football game.
Eastern Washington also has a home game Saturday. Athletic Director Bill Chaves released a statement Wednesday saying they are monitoring the conditions hourly and will do what is appropriate leading up to the game. He adds they are optimistic that conditions will improve as the week goes on.
KREM 2 also checked in with our high school sports leagues and all the athletic directors we talked to say they plan on making a call to cancel or delay their football games by Friday afternoon, and will notify students and parents by email.