ALAMEDA -- The air quality in Alameda was poor on Wednesday afternoon, forcing the Raiders to trim their practice session.
Smoke drifted south in the air from wildfires still burning in the North Bay, and dropped ash on the Raiders while they were practicing. The Enviornmental Protection Agency website airnow.gov considered the Alameda air quality “unhealthy,” recommending that healthy adults reduce heavy exertion.
The team eliminated a 15-minute individual period from the practice session. They went straight from stretching to team periods, which are closed to the media.
Head coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday around noon the Raiders were monitoring the air quality, but believed they could get a practice in later in the afternoon.
“We’re keeping an eye on the levels of smoke around here,” Del Rio said. “We want to make sure we do the right things with our guys.”
Both Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr expressed sympathy with those affected by the fires raging in Santa Rosa, Napa, Sonoma County and surrounding areas.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with people affected up in the North Bay,” Del Rio said. “It’s a devastating fire, and hopefully we get those flames out and get things settled back down and start rebuilding.”
The Raiders may be impacted by poor air quality, but they understand the severity of what’s going on in other parts of the Bay Area.
“The air, it smells like someone’s barbequing to be honest. That’s what I thought. I didn’t know that it would travel like that,” Carr said. “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.”
NOTE: The Raiders have joined with six other professional sports teams to offer $450,000 toward fire relief. The teams have also set up a fund for people to donate towards this cause at youcaring.com/firerelief