Northland, large swath of Minnesota under air quality alert
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Monday issued a air quality alert until 9 a.m. Tuesday for a large portion of Minnesota, from the arrowhead region down to the southwestern part of the state. The affected areas include Hibbing, Duluth, Brainerd and Mankato.
According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, a narrow but thick band of wildfire smoke originating from British Columbia is currently over central and northeast Minnesota today. Air pollution monitors show fine particulates greater than an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 101 (Orange) in this area. This plume of smoke is expected to move south during the day and persist into the overnight. During this time, fine particle pollution is expected to remain at, or above, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Conditions will begin to improve overnight from north to south as the smoke plume begins to exit the region. The smoke is expected to exit the state completely by 9 a.m. tomorrow. An Air Quality Alert is issued when the AQI is expected to reach or exceed 101, a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups, such as people with lung disease (including asthma), heart disease, children and older adults, and people who are active outdoors should limit prolonged exertion.
Northwestern and southeastern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, were not included in the alert.