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Strong wind gusts impacted the air quality in southwest Minnesota Friday.

The blowing wind "lofted small amounts of dust off of exposed fields" in that region, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said. The dust was being "suspended from open fields," according to the forecast, "creating locally impaired air quality."

The agency warned of moderate air quality conditions for an area that includes Marshall, Worthington, Morris, Granite Falls, Montevideo, Redwood Falls, Willmar and Benson. Stretches of air quality deemed "unhealthy for sensitive groups" were also possible throughout the day.

The agency said anyone working outside in that region Friday should be cautious.

Thankfully, we're still a long ways off from the "very unhealthy" air that blanketed the state during last summer's wildfires.

The wind was expected to lessen throughout the evening, which should clear up the air quality concerns, with the agency forecasting good conditions for the weekend. 

In northwest Minnesota, the wind caused blizzard conditions that shut down some highways Friday morning.

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