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UPDATE: Changes in School Athletics Due to Air Quality, Walker Fire Now 35 Percent Contained

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Smoke from the Walker Fire, captured on Monday, Oct. 12. - INCIWEB
  • InciWeb
  • Smoke from the Walker Fire, captured on Monday, Oct. 12.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2 p.m.

For the third day in a row, the Boise School District has to rearrange athletic events due to the heavy smoke that descended into Boise Monday morning from the Walker Fire. 

Today, the district 3 boys' and girls' soccer tournament games will be moved to Vallivue High School in Nampa, where the Idaho Department of Air Quality's real-time air monitoring shows air quality is "moderate." 

Junior high football games have been cancelled, along with the 9th grade and junior varsity football games between Borah and Centennial high schools. The 7th grade tennis matches are cancelled and practices for outdoor sports will be moved inside where possible.

The Walker Fire is now estimated at 4,202 acres—rather than the 4,589-acre estimation this morning. Five helicopters, 17 engines, 11 crews and two dozers are fighting the fire. It has continued to advance toward the Rattlesnake Creek drainage as gusty winds have lead the fire to increase each day.

Fire crews arrived as far as California today help fight the fire. They are focusing on holding containment lines to keep the fire from spreading into communities.

None of the evacuations or closures have been lifted yet.

ORIGINAL POST:  Wednesday, Oct. 14, 10:07 a.m.

The Walker Fire, burning eight miles southwest of Idaho City, is now 4,589 acres according to InciWeb. Nearly 400 firefighting personnel have managed to get the fire under 35 percent containment, but the air quality in the Treasure Valley continues to deteriorate. 

Real-time air quality monitoring from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality rates Boise's air to be "moderate," while Nampa's is considered "unhealthy to sensitive groups" and Meridian's air is flat out "unhealthy." 

The U.S. National Weather Service's Boise branch posted on Facebook this morning that forecasters expect the smoke to continue in the Boise area over the next few days. There's a 20 percent chance of showers over the weekend that could help clear the smoke away.