The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued an air quality alert for Northeastern Minnesota for 6 a.m. Monday, July 5, through 8 a.m. Tuesday. The affected area includes Duluth, Ely, Hibbing, International Falls, Bemidji and the tribal nations of Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake and Red Lake, according to a news release from the MPCA.

The alert is caused by smoke from wildfires 100 miles north of the Canadian border in Ontario and Manitoba. Northwest winds behind a cold front will move the smoke into Minnesota.

During this time, fine-particle levels are expected to be in the Orange AQI category, a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, the release said. Moderate to heavy rainfall and northeast winds forecast across the northern half of Minnesota on Tuesday are expected to dissipate the smoke plume over the state.

(Map courtesy of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)
(Map courtesy of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)

The following people may be affected when fine-particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level:

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  • Those who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Those who have heart disease or high blood pressure.
  • Children and older adults.
  • People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy physical activity, like playing sports or working outdoors.
  • Those who don’t have air conditioning to reduce indoor air pollution.

For information on current air quality conditions and to sign up for daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications by email, text, phone or the Minnesota Air mobile app, visit