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Air quality alert issued for swath of Minnesota due to British Columbia wildfires

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ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Monday issued a air quality alert for a large portion of Minnesota, from the arrowhead region down to the southwestern part of the state. The affected areas include Hibbing, Duluth, Brainerd and Mankato.

Northwestern and southeastern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, are not included in the alert.

The smoke originated from a wildfire and British Columbia and the alert expires at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21.

The Air Quality Index Value was measured at 101, a level that can be dangerous for those who have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other breathing issues.

The Minnesota Department of Health advises these precautions:

• Take it easy and listen to your body.

• Limit, change, or postpone your physical activity level.

• If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires.

• If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.

• People with asthma should review and follow guidance in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider if you do not have an asthma action plan.

To get more information on current air quality conditions in your area and to sign up for daily air quality forecasts, you can visit the MPCA Air Quality Index webpage.