Reporting Maria Medina
PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — Smoke from the Rim Fire burning near Yosemite is affecting the football season for several high schools, leaving coaches watching the skies.
Burning now for nearly two weeks, the over 200,000-acre Rim Fire has forced many to change their lives, including hundreds of student athletes.
“It’s affecting a lot of sports up in this area,” said El Dorado High parent Chris Delfino.
The poor air quality caused by the massive inferno has forced at least two high schools near the fire to close at least through Labor Day, and suspend sports practices and events.
At El Dorado High, head football coach and athletic director Joe Volek, decided to make the football opener a home game instead of playing at South Lake Tahoe High.
“We knew that down here the air quality would be better so football is a pretty violent game and there’s a lot of things going on so want to make sure that they’re safe,” said Volek.
Coaches say they look at the air quality index every day, and that the poor air quality from the Rim Fire has affected more than just the football team.
“We had a scrimmage two days ago for our soccer team that we cancelled,” Volek said.
The game may still be on for El Dorado and South Lake Tahoe, but students near the Rim Fire can’t go through their normal routine.
“We feel bad for the kids up in Tahoe,” Delfino said.