LEWISTON, Idaho — The smoke from thousands of acres of wildfires in east-central Idaho forced the cancellation of the Hermiston Bulldogs’ varsity football game at Lewiston (ID) on Friday.
Poor air quality made for unsafe playing conditions as day turned to evening in Lewiston. School officials in Lewiston monitored the levels of pollutants in the air using the air quality index (AQI) set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. Half way through the junior varsity game, which started at 4 p.m., the AQI moved above 150 to unhealthy levels.
The Bulldogs will not reschedule the contest, Kay said. Saturday’s forecasts in Lewiston suggested no better playing conditions and Hermiston is also currently under an air quality advisory so moving the game to Oregon could result in another cancellation. Hermiston has no other open weeks in its schedule this season.
“We looked at our options and quite honestly with how the weather forecasts, we don’t see a viable option,” Kay said.
The Hermiston varsity squad had already arrived in Lewiston by the time its game was canceled. The JV teams did finish their game though, a 19-13 Hermiston victory.
Kay said the decision was a necessary evil for the two schools, which share a yearly rivalry game across state lines. The programs trade home contests each year and Lewiston is scheduled to play in Hermiston in 2013.
“We’ve had such a great relationship with Lewiston,” Kay said. “It’s disappointing that this will go down as a no contest. We always have such great games with them.”
The Bulldogs (1-2) will host Bend next Friday at 7 p.m. at Kennison Field after taking this week off.
Contact reporter AJ Mazzolini at (541) 966-0839 or at email@example.com.