Air quality in Pullman isn’t nearly as severe as it was earlier in the week and it shouldn’t interfere with Saturday night’s football game between Washington State and Boise State.
The Cougars (1-0) and Broncos (1-0) still plan to kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Martin Stadium in a game that will air nationally on ESPN.
Unhealthy air chased the Cougars into the indoor practice facility on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but just like forecasts expected, much of the debris was pushed out of the region by wind Friday morning.
In other words, things would have to get drastically worse before WSU would begin to think about a contingency plan.
“No change,” WSU Sports Information Director Bill Stevens wrote in an E-mail Friday afternoon. “We are preparing to play the game tomorrow as scheduled. Air quality is improving today which is a good sign.”
The Air Quality Index was measured at 185, or “unhealthy,” on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but dipped below 150 Friday and currently sits at 145 – “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” The Mountain West Conference advises its schools avoid playing games when the AQI is higher than 150, but the Pac-12 doesn’t have a specific threshold.
Air quality has improved in Pullman, but not as much in Spokane, where the AQI stil remains in the red zone at 171 as of 2:30 Friday afternoon. That’s caused officials to scrub most of the high school games taking place in the area. All but one of the games involving a team from the Greater Spokane League have been postponed.