The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued an air quality alert for northern Minnesota, effective Tuesday, July 13, beginning at noon through Friday, July 16, at 9 a.m. The affected area includes Ely, Hibbing, International Falls, Two Harbors, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Bemidji, Roseau, Moorhead, East Grand Forks, Brainerd, Alexandria and the tribal areas of Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and Red Lake.
Smoke from wildfires located north of the Canadian border in Ontario and Manitoba will be transported by northerly winds behind a front moving into the northern portions of the state. Heavy smoke is expected to arrive Tuesday and remain over the area into Friday morning. During this time, fine particle levels are expected to be in the Red AQI category, a level considered unhealthy for all individuals, across far northern Minnesota and Orange, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, across western and central Minnesota. In addition to the smoke behind the front Tuesday, additional smoke is expected over western Minnesota Wednesday evening following a forecasted complex of thunderstorms. The smoke will remain over Minnesota through at least Friday before southerly win