UPDATE: Recent air quality in the state of Idaho has been hovering between moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups. But Wednesday morning, the air quality index hit a season-high reaching the red zone.
Red air quality means people may begin to experience negative health effects and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious concerns. Outdoor sports teams and organizations have set safety guidelines for when the air quality reaches this unhealthy zone. Today the Boise State women's soccer team took their practice indoors
Boise State's Senior Associate Athletic Director, Robert Carney tells 6 On Your Side, “there’s no point in starting a competition or practice and having them move later so we try to make those decisions ahead of when we’re actually gonna start those events.”
For hourly updates on the air quality index, click here.
It's no surprise when smoke is in the air this time of year here in Idaho. College athletes in the Treasure Valley are getting ready for their first games.
This time of year, students are headed back to school and college athletes are already practicing for the season. Smoke in the air plays a role of whether practices and games can go on.
"We monitor the air quality every day on various apps on our phones. Usually we start off early enough in the morning we kind of get an idea. If we practice at 8 a.m, we'll try to check that by 6:30 or 7 a.m, we let the coaches know where they're gonna be at," said Ken Becker, head athletic trainer, NNU.
When the air quality is in the orange category, it unhealthy for sensitive groups.
"That's when we start looking at people that have asthma, exercise induced asthma, bronchitis," said Becker
Planning whether an away game can be played or not can get a little more complicated.
Reagan Rossi, College of Idaho athletic director says if the air quality is above one-fifty, they won't play outside.
"This coming weekend our football team is supposed to play over at Eastern Oregon in la grande, uh their air quality as of today was 188," said Rossi.
"We have a couple different options. We can swap home dates, in which case we would switch this weekend and they would host our later game in October or we can move it back to the bi week which is the end of September," said Rossi.
Rosse says her primary focus is the health and safety of the student athletes, coaches, and fans.
"We'd love to play a football game this Saturday, hopefully in La Grande, keep the schedule as is and you know for our fans sake and you know I think we could get it done. Our fans would show up. We have no doubt about that," said Rossi
Rossi says the decision will most likely be made by Wednesday.