Smoke Conditions Could Disrupt High School Events in Oregon

Temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit endangered outdoor events throughout Oregon last week. Temperatures in the Portland area reached 105 degrees, while Ontario in eastern Oregon approached 110.

Temperatures are not expected to be as high this week, but instead of record heat, there will be the annual concern about wildfire smoke. Fires in Oregon, eastern Washington, northern California, and Canada are causing the smoke.

As of Sunday, Hurricane Hillary’s winds were projected to clean up part of the air in Oregon early next week. However, the current air quality alert for Multnomah County will continue in force until Monday afternoon and until Tuesday afternoon for central Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge.

The Oregon School Activities Association, like most state high school governing organizations, has guidelines for outside activities when the air quality is poor.

Smoke Conditions Could Disrupt High School Events in Oregon

When the air quality index is between 101 and 150, the OSAA advises teams to be cautious when engaging in outside activities, including requiring athletes to have their inhalers readily available. When air quality is in this range, the OSAA recommends that teams reschedule activities or move indoors.

When the AQI exceeds 150, all outdoor activities (including practice and competition) must be discontinued and relocated to a lower AQI location (either a different area or indoors). Schools must be aware of their ventilation systems because inadequately ventilated indoor regions might also have poor air quality.

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