Wildfire Smoke Forces Postponement of Grants Pass Downs Opener

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Smoke blankets Oregon’s Willamette River Monday | Getty Images

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Heavy smoke from wildfires in the northwest portion of the country has blanketed Grants Pass Downs at the Josephine County Fairgrounds in southern Oregon, causing track management there to postpone the scheduled opening day of the autumn meet from Sep. 14 to Sep. 21.

“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests, human and equine athletes, community of horsemen and women, and Grants Pass Downs staff,” stated a track-issued press release published by FOX26 News. “Until the smoke from the fires decreases to a safe level, we will not conduct training nor racing. Our hearts are with the members of our community who have been impacted by these historic fires, and our sincere gratitude goes out to the firefighters battling the blazes and first responders working to keep our communities safe.”

According to the Josephine County website, people in the county who must evacuate because of the fires are being directed to report to the fairgrounds property where the track is located.

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