Throw on your favorite campfire shirt, it'll smell like you've been sitting by one at the end of the day. The forecast for Thursday, July 29th reads, "widespread smoke. Sunny, with a high near 85. North wind around 10 mph." The smoke part isn't a stretch or an exaggeration, it smells like a campfire outside.

I woke up to my usual 4 AM alarm, got ready for work, and when I stepped outside I could've sworn that every house in my neighborhood was having a campfire. The smoke smell is just hanging in this muggy air we've been experiencing this week.

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This smoke is drifting down into Minnesota from Canada where they are experiencing some major wildfires right now that have been burning for multiple weeks. There are major fires on the Manitoba/Ontario border which is directly north of Minnesota.

The smoke is so bad in the air here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that there has actually been an air quality alert issued for most of the state through Friday afternoon. The only parts of the state that aren't in this alert are Lake and Cook counties along the north shore.

During this air quality alert, the people most affected will be:

  • Those with asthma or other breathing conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • People who have heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Children and older adults
  • Those doing heavy, physical activity outdoors, such as playing sports or working, especially for extended periods

Use caution if you are spending extended periods of time outdoors, especially if you are doing labor-intensive activities outside.

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