Air quality alert issued again as smoke from wildfires lingers over the area

Published 12:56 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has again issued an air quality alert as smoke from wildfires in Quebec and Ontario moved into eastern and southern Minnesota late Monday.

The alert is in effect through 12 a.m. Thursday.

The air quality index is expected to reach the orange or unhealthy range for sensitive groups.

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According to the National Weather Service, high pressure has moved into the state and will result in light winds across eastern Minnesota on Tuesday. As a result, ground level smoke was expected to linger across the alert area Tuesday.

Winds were expected to become southerly Tuesday afternoon so that air quality may improve across northeast Minnesota by Wednesday; however, the smoke impacting Wisconsin is expected to recirculate in southern Minnesota, and ground level smoke is expected to persist across southern and east central Minnesota on Wednesday.

A cold front is expected to move across the state Wednesday afternoon and bring cleaner air from the west.

Air quality should improve statewide by midnight Thursday.

During the alert, sensitive groups, such as people with lung disease (including asthma), heart disease, and children and older adults, should limit prolonged or heavy exertion.

People should also reduce or eliminate activities that contribute to air pollution, such as outdoor burning, and use of residential wood burning devices. Reduce vehicle trips and vehicle idling as much as possible.