Heavy smoke from wildfires located north of the Canadian border in Ontario and Manitoba was transported into northern Minnesota Monday night by northerly winds. By Tuesday afternoon, fine particles in the air reached U.S. Air Quality Index’s “Very Unhealthy” category.
This level is considered very unhealthy for everyone, across north central Minnesota. Heavy smoke was expected to remain in this area through early morning Thursday, July 22.
Fine particle levels will begin to improve across the state as winds will begin to move the smoke out of the state. By Thursday morning, air quality should be improved below alert levels statewide.
Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing or fatigue.
Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy such as taking it easy, listening to your body and limiting physical activity.