Smoke From Canada Prompts Another Statewide Air Quality Alert
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The smoke from Canadian wildfires is about to return to the Rochester area.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued Air Quality Alerts for the entire state tomorrow and Friday. An orange alert is set to take effect at midnight tonight for most of the state and continue through 11 PM Friday.
A red alert will be in effect in the northeastern corner of Minnesota on Thursday and will expand to cover the northern two-thirds of the state on Friday, including the Twin Cities area. The red alert means the level of particulate pollution from the wildfires will be high enough to be unhealthy for everyone, while the orange alert is for levels considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. That includes the very old and the very young, along with people dealing with chronic respiratory and heart conditions.
The MPCA says the winds are expected to become southerly Friday afternoon and will begin to push the smoke out of Minnesota. It's expected that air quality conditions will drop below alert levels statewide by the end of the day on Friday.
While the alerts are in effect, state officials recommend people included in sensitive groups limit prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone is advised to keep windows closed overnight and to limit activities that contribute to particulate pollution, including outdoor burning. Minnesotans are also recommended to reduce vehicle trips and the amount of time vehicles are left idling as much as possible.