Events postponed, practices scrapped because of fires

Jeff Tully

Although the fires that are raging across Southern California are

miles away from Burbank, local high school sports have been affected

by the fallout from the blazes.


On Tuesday, the girls’ Foothill League tennis match between

Burbank and Burroughs highs was postponed because of unhealthful air


Indian and Bulldog teams that play their contests outside and


didn’t have games Tuesday, were told to curtail their practices

because of excessive particulate matter in the air generated by the


“The word came down about [1 p.m.] that our match with Burroughs

was canceled for [Tuesday],” Burbank girls’ tennis Coach Paul McNiff.

“I think the concern was that the air quality was at a dangerous

level and they didn’t want to take the chance.”

Burbank players were disappointed with the postponement of the


cross-town rivalry match with the Indians.

“We were ready to play and we wanted to play against Burroughs,”

Bulldog doubles player Diane Grair said. "[The air] really wasn’t

that bad, but they told us we couldn’t play.”

LeeAnn O’Toole, administrative assistant to Burbank School

District Superintendent Gregory Bowman, said a correspondence was

sent to district schools Tuesday informing them to “limit or restrict

aerobic activity.”


O’Toole also said the information was sent to the schools

following a report from the South Coast Air Quality Management

District that air quality would be unhealthful or dangerous in the


“We weren’t able to practice [Tuesday] at all,” Burbank girls’

cross-country Coach Darin Wolf said.

“All you have to do is go outside and see how bad it is out


Wolf said his team is preparing for the Foothill League final next

week, and his runners can’t take time off from practicing in the wake

of the fires.

“We were going to try and go out to Santa Monica [Tuesday] to work

out,” he said. "[On Wednesday] we might try to go out to the desert

by Quartz Hill to get a practice in.”

Said Burroughs girls’ tennis Coach Roy Bernhardt: “I don’t know if

we will be able to play or practice the rest of the week. We have to

wait and see.”

While some Burbank and Burroughs teams did not work out or play

Tuesday, other squads did practice. The Bulldog football and baseball

teams and the Indian football team were out in the conditions

conducting practices on their respective campuses.

“I was told that I couldn’t practice,” Burroughs baseball Coach

Tom Crowther said. “So I moved my players inside one of the

classrooms for a chalk-talk session.

“I thought they didn’t want us out there practicing.”