California Wildfires Causing Air Quality Concerns For Swim Practices

For a second straight year, California wildfires are bringing up air quality concerns that could affect swim practices and competitions.

Wildfires are tearing across the West Coast, killing seven people and destroying buildings across California, Oregon and Washington. The resulting ash in the air has caused health and safety concerns. We saw a similar situation last year, when swimming officials were forced to cancel practices or competitions if air quality crossed a certain threshold.

Officials are monitoring a rating called “Air Quality Index” or AQI. Last year, many policies said that if AQI passed above 150, practices and competitions should be canceled.

The Pleasanton Seahawks, one of the Bay Area’s bigger clubs, canceled a practice last night due to falling ash, even though the AQI was still under that threshold. The club continues to evaluate the situation.

Stanford University said it was continuing to monitor the AQI and would adhere to the school’s policies of canceling activities if the AQI rises too high. Stanford’s college swim team is not yet back on campus and training, though we’re told the training schedule of the professionals already training on campus has been affected.

“We are continuing to closely monitor the AQI, as outlined in our sports medicine and NCAA policies, which includes suspending activities depending on the level at that time,” a school spokesperson said. “Overall, Stanford began welcoming student-athletes to campus on June 17 to participate in on-campus voluntary activities. The health, safety and overall well-being of our student-athletes remain our primary concerns.”

California also said it would be monitoring AQI and making changes to practice schedules if needed.

“Unfortunately, the impact of poor air quality on our ability to practice isn’t new territory for our swimming & diving programs,” the school said in a statement. “It’s been a challenging piece of our puzzle over the last few years, but what is clearly more unfortunate right now is the impact of these fires on our local and statewide communities. Looking at the big picture, the air quality’s effect on our practice schedule is the least of our concerns.

“With that being said, along with our health officials, we’re navigating day-by-day to ensure we’re keeping our student-athletes in safe conditions. We continue to monitor the Air Quality Index, and practice schedules may see modifications or cancelations due to poor air quality, if necessary.”

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Here in ca
1 month ago

Use purpleair.com as a guide. Stay inside and don’t participate in exercise when the aqi is over 120pm 2.5. This means the particulate matter small enough to inhale is too concentrated in the air to avoid respiratory harm. Good luck

Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Between COVID and the fires, we should just stop breathing altogether.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

I’m still rooting for the asteroid.

CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

I don’t know about we, but no arguments here if you want to go that route.

swimfan210_
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

I guess all these no-breath sets finally paid off.

Steve Nolan
1 month ago

For a second straight year, California wildfires are bringing up air quality concerns that could affect swim practices and competitions.

It’s probably more instructive to think of the last two years of fires not as the worst in the last 20 years, but as the best-case for the next 20.

CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

Gotta keep thinning the forests.

CU_2023
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

Is this like Al Gore’s Armageddon countdown clock predicting we are all doomed? I have to hand it to you though, you made the claim stating it had already started where it’s usually a prediction 10,20,30 years into the future.
https://dailycaller.com/2016/01/02/limbaughs-al-gore-armageddon-clock-about-to-hit-zero-after-ten-years/

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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