• Smoke from fires hits local air quality, postponing sixth annual Run for the Fallen and altering high school football practice
Air pollution caused by smoke from the fires in Napa and Sonoma counties have caused organizers to indefinitely postpone the sixth annual California Run for the Fallen, a 150-mile run through Northern California that was supposed to take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in honor of fallen soldiers, according to Kevin Graves, founder of Some Gave All - The Joey Graves Foundation, a nonprofit organization that sponsors the event.
“The fires are coming across Green Valley, and lots of the runners are from the area. They’re also in the military, and many of them are being deployed to help with the fire. We’re still going to do it, we just don’t know when,” Graves said.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District sent out a press release on Wednesday warning that smoke from the fires could pose health risks such as lung disease and asthma attacks, as well as an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. The impact from the smoke on the county’s air quality is expected to continue until the fires are extinguished, according to Anthony Presto, an outreach and communications representative for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District.
“Air quality in the North San Joaquin Valley, which includes San Joaquin County, is in the unhealthy to very unhealthy range and we would advise residents to stay inside if they can,” Presto said.
Lodi High School’s football team has already altered its practice schedule due to the air quality, according to Coach Robert Sperling, although he does not expect the smoke to affect Friday’s game against Lincoln High School. The team made the most of the time indoors, walking through their plays and keeping up with their conditioning.
“Today, we changed practice to the morning and cut time spent outside in half. We were only outside for one hour, we spent the rest of the time inside,” Sperling said.
Tony Vice, owner of the Fleet Feet running store in Stockton, echoed Presto’s warning for people to stay indoors, advising his fellow runners to either move their usual workouts indoors or postpone them altogether.
“With the tragic fires happening in the northern part of the state and smoke being blown down here, it’s more beneficial to work out inside or just take that extra day of rest,” Vice said.