Air Quality Alert for southeast Minnesota extended through Tuesday

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has expanded the air quality alert for east central and southeastern Minnesota to include the North Shore and Duluth area.

The alert is effective until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6. The affected area includes the Twin Cities, Albert Lea, Rochester, Mankato, Hinckley, Duluth, Two Harbors, and the tribal nations of Prairie Island, Mille Lacs, Fond du Lac, and Grand Portage.

The agency said a band of smoke from wildfires in Quebec will continue to linger across east central and southeast Minnesota Monday, due to very light winds.

Another band of smoke is also moving into Minnesota off Lake Superior. Air quality is quickly deteriorating across northeast Minnesota, as the second wave of smoke moves into that area. Air quality should improve across northeast Minnesota Tuesday morning as smoke moves south and exits the region. However, smoke will linger across east central and southeast Minnesota through late Tuesday.

Sensitive groups such as people with lung disease including asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, pregnant people, and children and older adults, may experience more serious health effects.

Symptoms include irritated eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath.

The agency says to reduce outdoor physical activities, take more breaks, and avoid intense activities to reduce exposure. Sensitive and more exposed individuals should avoid prolonged or vigorous activities and consider shortening, rescheduling, or moving outdoor events inside.

Anyone experiencing health effects related to poor air quality should contact their health care provider. Those with severe symptoms, chest pain, trouble breathing, or who fear they may be experiencing a heart attack or stroke should call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information and current air quality conditions, CLICK HERE.