Wildfire smoke likely triggers record air quality reading in Red Lake

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.

Larissa Donovan was the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016, through July 2023. She covered all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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