Fire danger forecast, poor air quality likely

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It’s been a hazy spring in the Northland already, and Minnesota’s air quality trends thus far this year are on pace to be the worst on record.

In 2023 we’ve already seen 12 days of ozone alerts, with particulate measurements over 71 parts per billion. In 2005–the current record year for ozone alerts–Minnesota saw 19 days with particulate measurements over 71 parts per billion all year.

“So it’s likely on the dry pattern that we’ve been on, that we’re going to stay in that high fire danger,” said Leanne Langeberg, Public Information Officer for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center. “The predictions coming out of the National Interagency Fire Center out of Boise are showing from the month of June, July and August that northern Minnesota is going to be in a higher, higher level for potential wildfire activity to happen during that time frame.”

Many factors contribute to assessments of air quality in an area, and wildfire smoke is just one possible contributor.

“My message to just all of Minnesotans is,” said Langeberg. “Wherever wherever you are, wherever you’re staying, Just be mindful of what what the weather conditions are doing from day to day. On those days that we do see more smoke particles in the air, it’s likely that it’s going to affect those with sensitivities to air quality. what we recommend is to follow the guidelines that are shared out with those air quality alerts.”