North Bay fires cause Raiders to shorten practice due to unhealthy air quality.
Impact of North Bay fires seen, smelled at Alameda complex
The Raiders shortened practice Wednesday because of poor air quality stemming from the North Bay fires.
Individual drills were eliminated from Wednesday’s practice as some ash fell to the ground and the sky held an orange tint. The Environmental Protection Agency classified the air in Alameda as “unhealthy” at the time of practice. The Raiders also moved Thursday’s practice from 1:45 p.m. to 11 a.m.
The Raiders’ practice facility is about 40 miles from the fires.
“We think we’re OK to work today in this,” Raiders’ coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday before practice. “We’re monitoring the different levels of smoke that are here and we’re going to make sure we do the right things with our guys ... we’ve got people that are checking all the data.”
The death toll from the fires has climbed to 21 and 3,500 homes and businesses have been damaged. According to the Associated Press, that makes these fires the third-most deadly and destructive in California history.
“The air, it smells like someone’s barbecuing to be honest. That’s what I thought,” Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr said. “I didn’t know that it would travel like that. My heart really goes out to the families though. When something like that happens and then someone tells you what it really is, you just sit there and think you’re fortunate, you’re blessed.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families that have lost houses, loved ones. That kind of stuff, that’s real life. That’s hard. Being 2-3 is not hard when we really think about it. Doing that kind of stuff, that’s what’s really hard. Our prayers are with them that they can have peace and encouragement.”
• The Raiders’ Wednesday injury report was the longest of the season, with 11 players either limited or out.
Six players sat out altogether: cornerback Gareon Conley (shin), cornerback Antonio Hamilton (knee), linebacker Cory James (knee), linebacker Marquel Lee (ankle), fullback Jamize Olawale (concussion) and tight end Lee Smith (knee).
Five others were limited: Carr (back), cornerback David Amerson (shoulder), wide receiver Amari Cooper (knee), right guard Gabe Jackson (foot) and running back DeAndre Washington (hamstring).