Air Quality Alert issued for southern Minnesota through Thursday due to wildfire smoke

(ABC 6 News) – A theme that most of Minnesota has seen several times this summer has returned.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued another Air Quality Alert for all of southern, east-central, and northeast Minnesota through Thursday due to smoke from wildfires in Quebec and Ontario.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to reach the orange category, a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. The MPCA said light winds across the state on Tuesday will allow ground-level smoke to linger. The smoke currently impacting Wisconsin is expected to recirculate into southern Minnesota and ground-level smoke is expected to persist across southern and east central Minnesota on Wednesday. A cold front will move across the state on Wednesday afternoon and bring cleaner air from the west. Air quality should improve statewide by midnight on Thursday.

This air is unhealthy for sensitive groups including people who have asthma or other breathing conditions, heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. The air may also affect pregnant people and children and older adults.

Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and fatigue.

People in sensitive groups are encouraged to reduce outdoor physical activities, take more breaks, or do less intense activities to reduce their exposure. 

Credit: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

For current air quality conditions in Minnesota, CLICK HERE.