Air quality alert expanded to north-central, southwest Minnesota

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has expanded an air quality alert to stretch across the entire length of the state Tuesday as wildfire smoke from Canada continues to choke the air.

A previous air quality alert only included the northwest corner of Minnesota. Now all but the eastern edge of the state and the Twin Cities metro is under an alert, and the severity has been upgraded to unhealthy for all groups along the western border.

According to the MPCA, the smoke hanging over the Red River Valley is tracking eastward Tuesday evening and is likely to reach parts of central Minnesota by Wednesday morning. Air quality is expected to improve from north to south throughout the day on Wednesday, and the alert is set to expire at 6 p.m.

People in the most severe parts of the alert area are advised to limit time outdoors and reduce physical activity, as the air particles could cause irritation, coughing or shortness of breath. For sensitive groups, such as children, seniors and people with cardiovascular issues, exposure to smoke could result in more serious health issues.

More information on current air quality conditions is available on the MPCA’s website.