Wildfires in northern California are causing some concern for the Washington State Cougars’ tilt with the Cal Golden Bears tomorrow night. Jon Wilner reported Wednesday’s air quality was bad enough that it would’ve required canceling the game had it been scheduled for yesterday.
Theo Lawson reported this morning that Cal and the Pac-12 are keeping an eye on the air quality ahead of tomorrow night’s kickoff and contingencies are being considered. For what it’s worth, the air quality seems to be better in the southern part of the Bay Area and the San Francisco 49ers are out of town this weekend, meaning Levi’s Stadium could theoretically be available.
As of this writing, the air quality in Oakland was at an unhealthy level. That’s not the magic number for canceling the game (anything over 200 would be) but it’s a level that the NCAA recommends student-athletes be closely monitored.
There is some good news as far as the game goes, however. The National Weather Service’s Bay Area office forecasts the wind to blow the smoke away from Berkeley tomorrow and, in my own amateur observation, the air quality seems to have gotten better at night every day this week. We’ll likely find out about any delay or movement of the game sometime today, as the conference would need to get any new space ready and ESPN would need time to move their production if necessary.
UPDATE (1:20 p.m.): Cal has released a statement, saying they expect the game to go on as scheduled.
UPDATE (6:00 p.m.): ESPN’s Molly McGrath reports Cal will treat any pollution issues like lightning delays if need be.
The fires in northern California have scorched nearly 200,000 acres, leaving 26 people dead, hundreds more missing, and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed or damaged. If you’d like to help, GoFundMe has created a list of verified accounts or you can donate to the Napa Valley Community Foundation.
If you live in the Bay Area and you’d like to give people a place to stay, AirBNB is helping you open your home to those in need.