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Thursday’s D-backs-Nationals game postponed due to poor air quality in D.C.

After postponing games in Philadelphia and New York yesterday, smoke from wildfires in Canada continues to blow down through the eastern United States, affecting air quality in the nation’s capital.

A general view during the seventh inning of the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks game at Nationals Park on June 07, 2023 in Washington, DC. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

A day after smoke from Canada’s wildfires postponed MLB games in Philadelphia and New York City, it’s done the same in D.C. The Washington Nationals announced Thursday morning that their scheduled matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks has been rescheduled for Thursday, June 22, at Nationals Park:

Arizona and Washington played the middle game of their three-game set on Wednesday night amid a palpable haze, as storm winds combined with some 400 active wildfires throughout Canada to send massive amounts of smoke south into the northeast United States. Conditions were particularly bad in Philly and New York, with air quality index readings well north of 300 (which the Environmental Protection Agency deems “hazardous”). As the smoke continues to move south, the nation’s capital began to see similar numbers overnight and into Thursday morning, compelling the commissioner’s office — which has sole authority to postpone games in these sorts of circumstances — to take action.

With AQI levels of 200 above, the EPA’s guidance tells even those people not at heightened risk to “avoid strenuous outdoor activities,” “keep outdoor activities short” and “consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them”. New York sent students home from school early, while mayor Eric Adams recommended people remain indoors as much as possible.

Arizona’s Merrill Kelly and Washington’s Josiah Gray were the scheduled starters today, but there’s no word yet on how the postponement will affect each team’s probable pitchers moving forward. The Diamondbacks will head north for three games against the Detroit Tigers this weekend, while the Nats head south to face off against the Atlanta Braves.