Official: Heavy wildfire smoke expected to be out of Minnesota Thursday

Smoke and particulate matter carried by northerly winds from fires in Manitoba and Ontario are affecting air quality in northern, central and southeast Minnesota. The smoke is expected to persist to some degree until early Thursday, July 22.

By late Wednesday, July 21, air quality in the state was poorest in the Twin Cities metro area.

“By (Thursday) afternoon, we expect that all the heavy smoke, at least, will be out of the state,” said David Brown, of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Risk Evaluation & Air Modeling Unit.

Smoke from Canada crossed the border into Minnesota at a time when the state is dealing with conditions of its own that are ripe for wildfires. Much of the state is under a drought watch.

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Air quality was worse overall on Tuesday, July 21, according to Brown, and was poorest in the Red River Valley in particular. A heavy smoke hanging over the Brainerd and Bemidji areas moved west to the valley overnight.

Photos of the smoky, hazy week in Minnesota:

By late Wednesday, a swath of Minnesota

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