Wildfire smoke affects Virginia Military Institute in Lexington

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 5:52 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - While conditions seem to be improving in some areas.. the Matts Creek wildfire smoke is still causing headaches for many -- literally.

On a day where people would ordinarily be enjoying the outdoors, there was almost no one out in the streets of Lexington Friday. Several students at the Virginia Military Institute say the smoke has messed up their day to day schedule.

VMI has been monitoring the air quality and limiting activities. It’s the third day it’s impacted them, although they say it wasn’t as bad Friday as it was earlier in the week. Even so, they’ve had to cut back on things like physical training.

Bill Wyatt, the director of communications for VMI, says the smoke is a huge factor for them since they have such a physical environment.

“We have a medical doctor here on post and she’s aware of those cadets who have special conditions where they may be affected, so we’ve been in touch with them and just making sure everyone is safe and doing well during this time,” said Wyatt.

Students have described the smell of the smoke as being right next to campfire.. and say they’ve been getting headaches from it. “My roommates have been comparing it to something out of a video game almost, but mostly for me, it’s the smell and you can kind of taste it in the back of your throat,” said Howard Link, a student at VMI.

The school has a football game scheduled for Saturday, but officials say they’re not sure if it’ll be canceled.