Air quality advisory issued for western Wisconsin due to wildfire smoke

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an air quality advisory for several counties in the western part of the state Friday as smoke from wildfires in Canada continues to linger over the area. 

The air quality advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. for the following counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnet, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Iowa, Iron, Jackson, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Richland, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon and Washburn. 

Elevated fine particulate matter concentrations from wildfire smoke are anticipated to result in air quality index values at a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups according to the Wisconsin DNR. Sensitive groups include children, elderly people, individuals with respiratory and cardiac problems and anyone engaged in strenuous outdoor activities for a prolonged period of time. 

The National Weather Service said Friday night and into Saturday, westerly winds will begin to transport the smoke in western Wisconsin and the smoke currently located over Minnesota to the east. A statewide air quality advisory is expected to be issued Friday night. 

An air quality alert for most of Minnesota remains in effect until 3 p.m. Friday due to wildfire smoke concerns. 

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