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Hazy skies this morning? It's wildfires

Smoke from Canada is drifting down through Minnesota.
Author:

Update, 10 a.m.

An air quality warning has been issued for parts of southwest Minnesota.

Air quality has reached "unhealthy" levels in an area including Marshall, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says.

This means that spending time outside could lead to adverse health effects, with members of sensitive groups at risk of more serious effects.

Original story

If you've awoken to a hazy morning in Minnesota, there's a reason for it.

The National Weather Service says that smoke from wildfires in Manitoba, Canada is drifting south into the U.S., with Minnesota getting the worst of it.

It tweeted this picture showing where the strongest drifts are, with the majority of Minnesota included in the red "heavy" zone.

Global News reports that the massive wildfires in Manitoba have promoted evacuations this week, with 23,000 hectares reportedly ablaze in the region.

Air quality affected

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) will be keeping a close eye on air quality as the day progresses, with wildfire smoke expected to persist throughout Friday morning.

Right now, most of Minnesota has "moderate" air quality, though a small area in the very south of the state (the orange areas in the map at right) has conditions that are considered "unhealthy" or "unhealthy for sensitive groups" – such as the elderly, babies and those with respiratory conditions.

However, those living areas in the yellow "moderate" category could still be affected by the air. The MPCA says the air quality in these areas are at the higher range of "moderate," which could "affect those very sensitive to air pollution."

"Adjusting outdoor activities this morning when values are at their peak can help those sensitive to the smoke/particle pollution," it says.

The smoke is expected to disperse as the day goes on as southeast to southwesterly winds help it disperse.

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