Wildfire smoke affecting high school football

DENVER, N.C. -- The smoke from wildfires in the North Carolina mountains is affecting some Friday night high school football games, including in Lincoln County.

East Lincoln High School Head Football Coach Mike Byus said his team's first-round playoff game at their stadium will end later than usual because officials will stop play in the middle of each quarter for water breaks.

"A couple times, in the last four or five days, you could smell it in the air a little bit," Coach Byus said.

He said the smoke forced Lincolnton and West Lincoln High Schools to move their practices earlier in the week to schools farther away from the mountains.

Carolinas Medical Center pulmonologist doctor Jaspal Singh said most football players should be fine as long as they hydrate and pay attention to respiratory illness symptoms.

"Shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, chest congestion," Dr. Singh said.

Coach Byus said he's also keeping a closer eye on players with conditions like asthma.

"[We may] possibly even limit how much they play," he said.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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