Canadian wildfires to the north are producing lots of smoke that's drifting south into our area, prompting the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to issue an Air Quality Alert for portions of Central Minnesota in effect through Friday morning.

The Air Quality Alert is in effect now through 9:00 am Friday morning, and includes Douglas, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, and Todd Counties -- plus more to the north.

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The Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to reach the Orange or Unhealthy for Sensitive
Groups category.

According to Minnesota's Pollution Control Agency:

Smoke from wildfires located north of the Canadian border in Ontario and Manitoba will be transported by northerly winds behind a front moving into the northern portions of the state. Heavy smoke is expected to arrive Tuesday and remain over the area into Friday morning. During this time, fine particle levels are expected to be in the Red AQI category, a level considered unhealthy for all individuals.

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Wednesday's Air Quality Forecast

The smoke will remain over the state through at least Friday before southerly winds develop and push the smoke northward.

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

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