Air quality is expected to reach the orange AQI category in western Minnesota, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has extended the air quality alert for western Minnesota. The alert now runs until 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7. The affected area includes Marshall, Worthington, East Grand Forks, and Moorhead.
Light winds and poor dispersion have allowed ground-level smoke to linger through the morning on Thursday across southwest Minnesota. and the Red River Valley. Air quality will continue to be poor until this afternoon, when stronger winds and vertical mixing will improve dispersion. Air quality will improve this afternoon and concentrations should drop below alert criteria by 3 p.m.
Fine particle levels are expected to reach the orange air quality index (AQI) category, a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. In the orange area, sensitive groups should limit prolonged or heavy exertion and time spent outdoors.