Posted: Sep 21, 2012 8:29 AM by Bernie Rigg - MTN News
MISSOULA - Smoke has been blanketing much of Western Montana, forcing air quality to "very unhealthy" levels if you spend several hours outside in the Bitterroot and Missoula valleys.
School officials have been checking the air quality reading at the Boyd Park monitoring station, as well as outside visibility and consulting with the Missoula City-County Health Department.
The continued smoky conditions have forced some schools to call off practices and games for a second week.
"Once the air quality hits the unhealthy range all outdoor activities are suspended. That would include recesses, outdoor physical education classes, and all athletics," explained MCPS Executive Regional Director Mark Thane.
He added that decisions on cancelling a game must be made in advance when teams are travelling.
The unhealthy air kept soccer games between Big Sky and Flathead, and Corvallis and Frenchtown off the field, along with a huge AA varsity football game.
CMR and Big Sky were supposed to kickoff under the Thursday night lights. Instead, they will play Friday at 7 p.m. in Bigfork.
None of Friday's scheduled games have been moved or postponed as of yet.