The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an Air Quality Alert for fine particle pollution in Mower, Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona Counties from noon Wednesday through 6:00 a.m. Thursday.
The MPCA reported that sensitive groups, such as people with lung disease, include asthma, heart disease, children and older adults may experience health effects. Smoke from wildfires in Ontario and Manitoba is expected to mix down to the ground over northern Wisconsin and move into central and southeastern Minnesota this aftenoon. Fine particle levels are expected to reach the Orange Air Quality Index category, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups today across central and southeastern Minnesota and remain in the Orange AQI category Thursday.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service reported that fine particle levels will begin to improve across the state beginning Wednesday evening as winds will begin to move the smoke out of the state. By Thursday morning, they predict that air quality should be improved below the alert levels statewide.
Health experts stated that sensitive groups, such as people with lung disease, including asthma, heart disease, children and older adults should limit prolonged or heavy exertion.