Air quality alert issued for northeastern Minnesota due to Greenwood Fire

As the Greenwood Fire continues to burn, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert, effective from now until 3 p.m. Wednesday, for northeastern Minnesota, including the Duluth area.

The air quality is expected to be unhealthy for all people in a large portion of the impacted area, which includes Carlton, Cook, Lake, Koochiching and St. Louis counties. More specifically, it includes these cities and towns: Duluth, Cloquet, Hibbing, Ely, Virginia, Hoyt Lakes, Babbitt, Isabella, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Grand Marais and the tribal nations of Grand Portage and Fond du Lac.

The Greenwood Fire, which is about 15 miles southwest of Isabella near Greenwood Lake, is the main cause of the air quality alert as the fire doubled in size yesterday. Some wildfires in Canada are also impacting the air quality in this region.

The MPCA recommends these tips to people dealing with unhealthy air quality:

  • Take it easy and listen to your body.
  • Limit, change or postpone your physical activity level.
  • If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires.
  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible. Use indoor air filtration or air conditioning with the fresh-air intake closed/set on recirculate to reduce indoor air pollution.
  • If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.
  • People with asthma should review and follow the guidance in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider if you don’t have an asthma action plan.