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Smoke leads to sports cancellations

Smoky conditions deemed unhealthy by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality have led to at least one fall sports cancellation at Ashland High School, and more may be on the way.

Ashland's freshman-sophomore football game at Klamath Union scheduled for today has been called off after smoke from three regional wildfires led to a local Air Quality Index rating of 176 Wednesday afternoon (anything between 151 and 200 is considered unhealthy).

Ashland's girls' soccer tilt at Klamath Union today may still go on as planned in an indoor facility, according to AHS athletic director Karl Kemper, and the fate of the Ashland-Klamath Union football game scheduled for Friday night has yet to be determined.

"Everything is day to day," Kemper said via email.

Southern Oregon University's football opener against Eastern Oregon, originally scheduled for tonight, was postponed Tuesday. No make-up date has been set but SOU announced in a press release that it's targeting Saturday morning.

The Oregon Schools Activities Association mandates that should AQI levels exceed 150 outdoor contests should be canceled and practices limited to two hours or less with frequent breaks and a decrease from normal intensity. Even before its late-July trip to Japan for the Pacific Rim Bowl, the Ashland football team complied by practicing inside Mountain Avenue Gym.