Updated: July 20, 2021 06:10 PM
Created: July 20, 2021 03:14 PM
(ABC 6 News) - The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert for northern, central, and southeast Minnesota until Thursday morning.
Heavy smoke from wildfires located north of the Canadian border in Ontario and Manitoba was transported into northern Minnesota overnight by northerly winds. Today, fine particle levels are expected to remain in the Purple AQI category, a level considered very unhealthy for everyone, across north central Minnesota. Heavy smoke will remain in this area through Wednesday.
Tomorrow, fine particle levels are expected to be in the Red AQI category, a level considered unhealthy for everyone, across northern Minnesota.
Smoke is expected to mix down to the ground over northern Wisconsin and move into central and southeast Minnesota this afternoon. Fine particle levels are expected to reach the Orange AQI category, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, today across central and southeast Minnesota and remain in the Orange AQI category tomorrow.
Fine particle levels will begin to improve across the state beginning Wednesday evening as winds will begin to move the smoke out of the state. By Thursday morning, air quality should be improved below alert levels statewide.
People whose health is affected by unhealthy air quality: There are people who are more likely to be affected when fine particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level.
Health effects: Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider.
Take precautions: Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy.
For information on current air quality conditions in your area and to sign up for daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications by email, text message, phone, or the Minnesota Air mobile app, visit MPCA’s Air Quality Index webpage. You can find additional information about health and indoor and outdoor air quality at Air Quality and Health webpage.
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