UPDATE: Air Quality Alert through 9AM Sunday

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency had issued an Air Quality Alert for portions of Northland this weekend. According to the MPCA, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to reach the Red or Unhealthy category. The alert is in effect through 9 a.m. on Sunday for Northern and Central St. Louis, Koochiching, Northern Itasca, Northern Cook, and Northern Lake counties. The MPCA says a fine particle level in the Red AQI category is a level considered to be unhealthy for everyone.

Carlton, Southern Itasca and the lake shore of Lake and Cook counties have been allowed to expire.

The Greenwood fire continues to burn in the Superior National Forest in northeast Minnesota. On Friday, the fire has burned an estimated 26,000 acres, with zero containment. Officials say there will be little chance for significant fire growth on Friday and Saturday, but smoke will continue. There are also fires burning just across the Canadian border in Quetico Provincial Park. These fires continue to burn as well with no containment.

RELATED STORY: Greenwood Fire shows no growth amid wet weather (Friday Update)

The National Weather Service says winds will be from the East to southeast throughout Friday and Saturday. This will carry the smoke to the west and northwest of the fires. Rain on Friday and Saturday may temporarily reduce the fine particle concentration below the alert level.

While the MPCA expects the air quality to be unhealthy for everyone, if you or someone you know has lung diseases, including asthma, heart disease, and children and older adults, be extremely careful. If you are in the sensitive group, you should limit your time outdoors, and close windows.

You can find additional information about health and air quality at https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/why-you-should-care-air-quality-and-