Brush fire near Olympic sites rains down ash

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A brush fire caused light ash to fall on the playing surface of the Olympic field hockey venue Monday, and officials are monitoring the nearby mountain bike competition site for problems there.

The women’s field hockey quarterfinal between Britain and Spain started on time and was not affected as the wind quickly blew away any ash that might have made it on the surface.

The fire started in the afternoon when temperatures at Deodoro Olympic Park reached 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 Celsius), and a 26 mph wind picked up. The fire occurred near X-Park, the venue for canoe slalom, BMX, and mountain bike. The scorching temperatures later gave way to torrential rain in Rio that caused a delay at the track and field venue.

High winds rattled and shook the media workroom tent on the site and blew smoke and ash into the area. Germany and the United States had finished playing about an hour before the problem became noticeable.

The International Cycling Union says it will check on Tuesday for any potential impact on the mountain bike course.

Practice on the mountain bike course begins Wednesday. The women’s race will be held Saturday, with the men’s race on Sunday.

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