Canadian wildfire smoke leads to air quality alert across Minnesota

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert for the entire state due to smoke from Canadian wildfires. 

The MPCA said on Thursday, "A band of very heavy ground-level smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan is currently moving along a cold front in northwestern Minnesota. The smoke will continue to move south and east and eventually impact the entire state of Minnesota. The smoke should clear rapidly overnight into Friday morning.

"Fine particle levels are expected to reach the red air quality index (AQI) category, a level considered unhealthy for everyone, across all but far eastern Minnesota. This area includes The Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, St. Cloud, Mankato, Moorhead, East Grand Forks, Roseau, Bemidji, Alexandria, Marshall, Ortonville, Worthington and the tribal nations of Red Lake and Mille Lacs. In the red area, everyone should avoid prolonged time outdoors. 

"Fine particle levels are expected to reach the orange AQI category, a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, across southeastern, northeastern, and far east central Minnesota. This area includes Rochester, Duluth, Ely, International Falls, Two Harbors, and the tribal nations of Fond du Lac and Grand Portage. In the orange area, sensitive groups should avoid prolonged time outdoors."

The alert, which went into effect Wednesday night, goes through 6 a.m. Friday.

During this time, opening burning is also not allowed and campfires are discouraged. 


Minnesota weather: Wildfire smoke lingers, rain showers possible

Wildfire smoke from Canada continues to cause problems in Minnesota on Thursday, as clouds lower the air quality and bring rain.