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Originally published August 11, 2014 at 9:08 PM | Page modified August 12, 2014 at 7:35 PM

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Washington State forced to move camp back to Pullman after fire south of Lewiston, Idaho

Poor air quality from Big Cougar Fire means Cougars have to bus back home for workouts.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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PULLMAN — It probably wasn’t a lot of consolation to the Washington State football team that their fall-camp inconvenience Monday was caused by the Big Cougar Fire south of Lewiston, Idaho.

The Cougars, who have been camped at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston and practicing at a middle school there, were smoked out of their installation and forced to bus back to Pullman for a 100-minute workout in their practice bubble.

“Coach (Mike) Leach always says, ‘The teams that can adjust best are the ones that prevail,’ “ said linebacker Jeremiah Allison good-naturedly.

It was 104 degrees in Lewiston with a nasty level of smoke that had drifted north from the fire. Leach said the determination was made by air-quality personnel.

“They’ve got some scale and they measure it,” he said. “It was way over the scale, so we came here.”

The Cougars were scheduled to work in Lewiston on Tuesday and Wednesday before finishing what was to be a 12-day camp, but the possibility exists they’ll have to make an unscheduled trip to Pullman again “if we have to,” Leach said.

Lewiston’s weather forecast is for a 20 percent chance of showers or thundershowers Tuesday, with highs in the low-to-mid ‘90s.

Not only did the conditions change WSU’s plans, but a third bus picking up team members for the 40-minute drive to Pullman broke down, Leach said, delaying practice about 35 minutes.

Still, Leach called it a solid workout, saying, “I thought our young guys, it took them a little while to adjust, but I thought our team as a whole did, and I thought we ended up having good work.”

Once WSU returns to Pullman for good, it begins concentration on its opener against Rutgers at CenturyLink Field on Aug. 28.



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