North Bay Fires Choke Homecoming Activities

Ronald Hohnsbeen, Staff Writer

Fires in Sonoma and Napa counties, which destroyed property and claimed lives, also caused major health concerns in Moraga during the week of October 8, resulting in the cancelation of many sporting events, including the homecoming game against Miramonte scheduled for the evening of October 13.

In particular was the impact of air particulates which drifted south of the fires for hundreds of miles. According to Principal John Walker, during the peak of the air pollution several students were issued masks after complaining about breathing difficulties.  Other students, with more severe symptoms like nausea, stayed home from school. “The smoke that caused the poor air quality was a monumental inconvenience because it restricted the ability for students to study, and even restricted their ability to breathe,” said Walker.

Freshman Olivia Lopez said that the poor air quality made her light headed and restricted her breathing. “The air quality got so bad that I had to go to the office as soon as I got to school. I had to get a mask before I could do anything in school,” she said.

Although the masks did help Lopez breath, she said, “The masks were extremely inconvenient because it [sic] restricted me from being able to eat and drink, and it made my speech muffled and hard to understand.”

Teachers were also encouraged to restrict students from going outside during the school day. During lunch, teachers opened their classrooms so students could eat indoors.

Campolindo’s administration also made the decision to cancel all sports and outside activities, including the homecoming lunchtime activities organized by leadership.

Other students were not greatly impacted by the poor air quality, but were perturbed nonetheless. “It caused some discomfort,” said freshman Katie Braden. “I was extremely disappointed that the [homecoming football] game  was canceled.”