Featured photo was taken from the Blue Ox Trail over Lake Bemidji around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Smoke blown south from wildfires in Ontario and Manitoba has pushed air quality into the “very unhealthy” range over a large swath of north-central Minnesota.
An alert is in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday.
Areas of particular concern are Brainerd, Cass Lake, the Leech Lake Nation, Bemidji, the Red Lake Nation, and up to the Canadian border.
The MPCA air quality monitor in Red Lake reported 397 micrograms per cubic meter at 2 a.m. Tuesday, which may be the highest fine particle measurement ever recorded in the state.
MPCA’s air quality recordings began in 2000.
Wildfire smoke across the West and Canada is spreading thousands of miles, with air quality alerts broadcast all over the country.