Knox County Schools is monitoring air quality ahead of Friday's football state quarterfinal games.

“We understand the significance of these playoff games, but we have to balance that with the safety of these students and their families," school system spokeswoman Carly Harrington said Thursday, hours after a wildfire began torching dozens of acres in the Blount County town of Walland. "We will continue to monitor the situation and work with our schools to make a contingency plan if needed.”