Air Quality Advisory updated and extended across the Northland

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Winds developing out of the southwest have sent the plume of heavy smoke back toward the Northland throughout the weekend and into next week. Minnesota extended an Air Quality Alert through 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued an Air Quality Advisory in effect until 12 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1 for the entire state.

Smoke from the wildfires in Canada will continue to linger over the western part of the state this afternoon and evening.

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The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued an air quality alert on Thursday due to increased wildfire smoke levels for nearly all of Minnesota.

Areas in far northeastern Minnesota, including Duluth, Two Harbors, and Grand Portage, will reach an Orange Air Quality Index, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Ely, Fond du Lac, and the nearby area will reach a Red Air Quality Index, which is unhealthy for everyone. North central Minnesota, including Hibbing, Brainerd, and Red Lake will reach a Purple Air Quality Index, which is very unhealthy for everyone.

Northern Wisconsin, including Superior, Bayfield, and Ashland, will reach an Orange Air Quality Index as well.

To monitor Minnesota air quality, click here.

To monitor Wisconsin air quality, click here.

People who are more likely to be affected when fine particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level include people who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease or high blood pressure. Children and older adults, along with people doing extended periods of activity outdoors, may also have problems.

Health officials say 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.

Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy. Close windows, postpone physical activities. If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.