Air quality alert extended to Sunday for southern Minnesota due to wildfire smoke

The air quality alert in effect due to wildfire smoke has been extended to noon on Sunday for southern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The affected areas include the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Marshall, Rochester and Mankato, as well as the tribal nations of Prairie Island and Mille Lacs.

The air quality levels are expected to reach the red quality index, which is unhealthy for everyone. Health officials recommend that the general public and sensitive groups should limit time outside.

The MPCA states that smoke from wildfires in Alberta and British Columbia will continue moving slowly south Saturday and out of Minnesota by Sunday afternoon.