Air quality alert expanded to include Twin Cities as smoke continues to drift southward

Winds are carrying smoke from Canadian wildfires farther south across the state Sunday, causing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to expand its air quality alert area to include the Twin Cities.

The MPCA initially issued an alert Saturday for the northern half of the state, but smoke drifted farther to create unhealthy conditions for sensitive groups in the metro area. The expanded alert area is only in effect through 6 a.m. Monday, as southerly winds are expected to clear the smoke out overnight.

According to the MPCA’s latest data, the worst air quality is concentrated in the middle of the state. The air quality index in St. Cloud, Alexandria, Brainerd, Detroit Lakes and the White Earth Nation is considered to be unhealthy for everyone.

You can learn more about current air quality conditions on the MPCA’s website.