Skip to main content

Air quality still bad on Friday as wildfire smoke continues to blanket Minnesota

The smoky haze will continue till at least Friday afternoon.
Smoke and haze Minneapolis

Minnesotans are set for a second consecutive day of extremely poor air quality caused by the wildfire smoke drifting south from Canada.

The strong smell of smoke became increasingly noticeable in the Twin Cities on Thursday, while the St. Cloud area experienced the worst air quality ever recorded in Minnesota, as the particulate readings hit 422 micrograms per cubic meter.

And the hazy smoke that has invaded the state will be hanging around until at least Friday afternoon, with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issuing an air quality alert for the whole of the state except for the North Shore until 3 p.m. – though it's possibly this is extended later.

Weather is sponsored by All Energy Solar: get a free installation quote now!

As of Friday morning, the worst air quality can be found in the west of the state, an area that encompasses Detroit Lakes and Marshall, where the air quality is considered "unhealthy" for all people, meaning everyone could experience health effects if outside for too long.

In the Twin Cities, the air quality is in the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" range. In any case, residents are advised to limit their outdoor activities.

However, it's expected to worsen, with the MPCA saying the western half of the Twin Cities is expected to reach the red "unhealthy for everyone" category later on Friday.

Screen Shot 2021-07-30 at 6.45.43 AM

"Smoke will remain over the state into Friday," the MPCA says in its alert. "A brief period of very heavy smoke is expected to impact north central Minnesota this morning and south central Minnesota this afternoon.

"Air quality is expected to improve this afternoon across north central and northeast Minnesota."

When air quality is "unhealthy," the MPCA notes that people could experience chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue.

Sign up for our BREAKING WEATHER newsletters

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.

ambulance

One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.

281699116_10226502238438986_800951410789352812_n

Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Related

Flickr - Minnesota haze 2018 - Northfielder

Wildfire smoke brings 'unhealthy' air to Twin Cities, 'very unhealthy' to central MN

Almost the entire state is under an air quality alert into Friday.

Chamberlain

Photos: Smoke-filled skies in northern Minnesota

Wildfire smoke is creating a thick, gray haze in parts of the northland.

air quality alert

Air quality alert in Twin Cities, high fire risk in Minnesota Friday

Steamy temps and low humidity is making air quality poor and increasing the risk of wildfires.

Flickr - smoke McGregor minnesota wildfire July 29 2021 - Lorie Shaull

'Unprecedented': The wildfire smoke isn't going anywhere this weekend

The air quality alert that was supposed to end Friday is now in effect into early next week.