Air quality alert covers Minnesota through Sunday afternoon

The smoke is due to wildfires in Canada

Sloane Martin
August 10, 2018 - 11:17 am

An air quality alert has been issued for the entire running through Sunday afternoon.

Wildfires in Canada, even as far as 1,500 miles away, are having an effect on air quality in Minnesota.

"A lot of times that smoke will stay high up in the atmosphere and won't come down to the ground and affect air quality," Steve Irwin, air quality meteorologist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said. "But in this particular case we have a high-pressure system coming in and that's basically sinking air, so as the air sinks, it brings the smoke down from the higher levels down to the surface and creates that poor air quality."

He says young children, older adults and people with respiratory illnesses like asthma and COPD that are sensitive to air pollution should limit time outside. But otherwise healthy people shouldn't overexert themselves outside, either, with exercise.

Dozens of wildfires are tearing through portions of the Pacific coast from southern California to British Columbia.