Air quality is expected to reach the orange AQI category (unhealthy for sensitive groups) in northern Minnesota
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has expanded the air quality alert for northern Minnesota to include Koochiching, Itasca, and Cass counties. The alert remains in effect until 11 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21. The affected area includes Bemidji, East Grand Forks, Moorhead, International Falls, Roseau, and the tribal nations of Leech Lake and Red Lake.
Heavy smoke from Canadian wildfires is currently impacting northwest Minnesota Wednesday behind a cold front that is slowly moving southeast across the region. The heavy smoke will expand east and begin impacting Koochiching, Itasca, and Cass counties Wednesday evening. The smoke is expected to linger through the day Thursday before gradually dissipating beginning Thursday evening.
Fine particle levels are expected to reach the orange air quality index (AQI) category across northwestern Minnesota, a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. In the orange area, sensitive groups should limit prolonged or heavy exertion and time spent outdoors.