Fires in Kansas are affecting western Minnesota's air quality

People with asthma or other breathing conditions are among those most likely to be affected.
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An air quality alert has been issued for west central and northwest Minnesota Saturday, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The group says it's due to smoke from fires down in Kansas.

"Fine particle pollution is expected to climb at or above a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups," the alert says, noting it should clear Saturday evening as winds shift.

The alert is in effect until 10 p.m. and it covers the areas surrounding Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, East Grand Forks, Wheaton and the Tribal Nation of Red Lake.

According to the MPCA, some people are more likely to be affected by poor air quality than other. Those include people with asthma or other breathing conditions, those with heart disease or high blood pressure, children, and older adults.

The agency adds people doing physical activities or working outdoors might also experience some negative affects.

If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or unusual fatigue, contact your health care provider.

Officials recommend taking it easy on days where air quality is poor. And if you use an inhaler, keep it with you.

The Pollution Control Agency also recommends avoiding driving or using gas-powered equipment on alert days. It also recommends not burning wood, which shouldn't be an issue considering the current burning restrictions.

You can keep track of current air conditions here.

About the fires in Kansas

The fires in Kansas are controlled, according to the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska – there are also air quality alerts there.

The paper says farmers in Kansas are allowed to burn a bunch of grass every year to produce even better grass.

According to the Fremont Tribune, farmers and landowners typically burn their tall prairie grasses between March and mid-April.

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