Air Quality Alert Continues Through Sunday
Whether you are at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals or on the lake enjoying the last few weeks of summer, be aware of the air quality alert the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued for northern Minnesota. The alert began today, August 16 at 3 p.m. and will be in effect until Sunday, August 19 at noon.
Canadian wildfires continue to burn and the smoke is expected to travel south and to the east covering the northern region of Minnesota. Much of the smoke is projected to be in Minnesota by early Friday morning, and the wind should subdue on Saturday slowing the transport of smoke into the area.
Air pollution monitors show a rapid rise in fine particles with values exceeding an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100 along with weather observations showing visibility dropping to 2-5 miles. Until Sunday afternoon fine particle pollution is expected to remain at, or above, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.
People’s who health is affected by unhealthy air quality include:
- People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- People who have heart disease or high blood pressure
- Children and older adults
- People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors
People can prevent themselves from the affects of poor air quality by:
- Taking it easy and listening to your body.
- Limiting, changing, or postponing your physical activity level.
- If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires.
- If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.
- People with asthma should review and follow guidance in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider if you do not have an asthma action plan.
The Southern half of Minnesota will be monitored for an air quality alert on Friday and into Saturday.
For information on current air quality conditions in your area and to sign up for daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications by email, text message, phone, or the Minnesota Air mobile app, visit MPCA’s Air Quality Index webpage. You can find additional information about health and indoor and outdoor air quality at Air Quality and Health webpage.