The old ’50s tune by the Platters would be a fitting anthem for today’s Colorado-Washington State football game. Or to update that a little, Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water. A thick cloak of smoke has enveloped eastern Washington, primarily the result of wildfires in central Washington.
From the new Martin Stadium press box, you can see Beasley Coliseum and the student rec center, but nothing beyond that ridge. Normally, the Palouse hills are visible to the north, but not today. The smoke is palpable enough to smell it as you breathe.
Friday, the Whitman County Department of Public Health noted the continuation of a National Weather Service air-quality alert in effect through Monday for the area, and an advisory from the state Department of Ecology warning that the smoke makes it “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Those include infants and children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, diabetics, cigarette smokers and those with lung or cardiovascular illnesses.
Several area high school football games Friday night were postponed or cancelled, and Central Washington’s game with Azusa Pacific was moved from Ellensburg to Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell.
A WSU spokesman said the school has been monitoring air-quality advisories, but there’s no indication the elements would cause any change in today’s 1 p.m. game time. Visually, it doesn’t appear to have changed much from about 10:45 a.m. to the time of this post, at about 12:15 p.m.