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Air Quality Alert Issued for the Northern Half of Minnesota

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert for northern Minnesota for Tuesday, May 16.

The MPCA says it's due to a band of smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan is currently moving east across Ontario.

The smoke is expected to cross the Canadian border into northern Minnesota around 4 a.m. Tuesday. Northerly winds will push the smoke as far south as Hinckley and Alexandria by Tuesday afternoon.

Particles from the wildfire smoke can irritate eyes, nose, and throat, and cause coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fatigue. It can also aggravate existing chronic heart and lung diseases, triggering heart palpitations, asthma attacks, heart attacks, and strokes.

Sensitive groups include:

  • people who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  • people who have heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

  • pregnant people.

  • children and older adults.

The air quality alert runs until 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 16.

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