Wildfires to impact air quality in the Midwest

(ABC 6 News) – Smoke from wildfires in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho is expected to catch some upper-level winds, known as a jet stream.

This jet stream will guide the smoke toward our area. As the smoke gets farther away from the fires, it will become less and less dangerous for our health, but that’s not all.

Nick Witcraft is an air quality forecaster with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. He lists another reason. “We’ll probably have some pretty sunsets over the next few days, you know the deep red sunsets.”

The smoke in the sky will decrease the brightness of the sun, giving it a more red/orange color to the visible eye. Some smoke is already up in the air over our area. If you’re worried about being affected by the smoke, it will only impact a select few. Witcraft mentions who it will impact.

“Extremely sensitive people. We don’t expect a repeat of last Summer when we had the major occursion of smoke.”

If you have asthma or other respiratory problems, take it easy if you start to cough or have shortness of breath.

Also, northern Minnesota is expected to be impacted more than southeastern Minnesota.

Friday and Saturday are the big days to watch out for in our area. We’re expected to see the peak of the smoke immediately behind an incoming cold front.

According to airnow.gov, the air quality index should be 150 or more before it affects the general public; whereas we will not even hit 100 this time around. We will see a gradual improvement in air quality heading into next week.