An air quality alert has been issued across northern Minnesota for wildfire smoke.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the alert, in effect from yesterday through Friday morning, includes the city of Bemidji and the Leech Lake and Red Lake reservations.
Smoke from wildfires in Ontario and Manitoba is moving to the area by northerly winds behind a cold front.
During this time, fine particle levels are expected to be in the Red AQI category, a level considered unhealthy for everyone, across far northern Minnesota and Orange, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, across western and central Minnesota.
People whose health is affected by unhealthy air quality: There are people who are more likely to be affected when fine particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level.
- People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- People who have heart disease or high blood pressure.
- Children and older adults.
- People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors.
Health effects: 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. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider.