Air quality alert in effect for northern Minnesota through Sunday

An air quality alert is in effect for the northern half of Minnesota through Sunday at noon.

The affected area includes Brainerd, Bemidji, Duluth, Ely and Moorhead. It also includes the tribal nations of Mille Lacs, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake and Red Lake.

The alert is due to the arrival of a large area of Canadian wildfire smoke that is moving into the northwest part of Minnesota. By early Friday morning, the smoke should cover much of the northern half of the state.

The smoke is from wildfires currently raging in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada along with some smoke from western Ontario fires.

People who have asthma, breathing conditions, heart disease, high blood pressure are most likely to be affected. Children, elderly adults and anyone doing extended or heavy, physical activity outdoors are also asked to be cautious, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.