All athletic contests in the North Bay and Sonoma County leagues have been canceled this week in the wake of the deadly fires that have torched large swaths of the North Bay.

Campuses in the vast majority of Sonoma County school districts, including Santa Rosa City Schools, Cotati-Rohnert Park, Petaluma City Schools, Windsor, Healdsburg and West Sonoma County schools have been shuttered since Monday.

The decision to cancel came down to safety, NBL Commissioner Jan Smith-Billing said.

“First, and most importantly, is the safety of our student-athletes and coaches, as well as the entire communities in which they reside,” she said in a statement Tuesday. “The air quality is terrible and it would be unsafe to have anyone doing anything outside.”

“It is now time to take care of each other, focus on health and safety, and put competition aside for a week.”

Air quality readings in Napa Monday were at 442. Readings from 201 to 300 are considered “very unhealthy.”

The Bay Area Air Quality District has no monitor in Santa Rosa, but residents in thge city have been wearing masks for days. District spokeswoman Kristine Roselius said Monday she could not remember another time when air quality indexes were so high for such a sustained period of time.

Athletic directors will meet in the coming days to discuss a modified league schedule for the rest of the season, Smith-Billing said.

Staff columnist Kerry Benefield is at 707-526-8671 or