Air quality alert issued for NW, central Minnesota due to Canadian wildfires

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert for northwestern and central parts of the state due to smoke from wildfires in Ontario, Canada. 

The alert is in effect from Friday at 1 p.m. through Saturday at 9 p.m. 

Air pollution monitors in northern Minnesota are showing fine particles in the air are rapidly rising to unhealthy levels and visibility is dropping to 1-5 miles in the affected area. 

MPCA says the smoke in northwestern Minnesota will begin to clear Friday evening and the southern portions of the alert area will clear out on Saturday morning. 

People with asthma, other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease or high blood pressure or who are doing extended or heavy physical activity outside are more likely to be affected by unhealthy air quality. Children and older adults should also be cautious.