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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Cooler air is predicted to push into Minnesota starting late tonight but the northerly breezes will also deliver smoke from wildfires in Canada to the state.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert for almost the entire state with the exception of the North Shore. The alert will be in effect from 10 PM until 3 PM on Friday.

Officials say it is anticipated the heavy smoke from the fires in Ontario and Manitoba will begin crossing the border into northern Minnesota tonight and began showing up in southern Minnesota around midmorning tomorrow. The resulting fine particulate pollution levels are expected to be high enough to be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The winds are forecast to shift over to the southeast on Friday and the MPCA is anticipating the fine particulate pollution will drop below the alert levels Friday afternoon.

According to the Pollution Control Agency, sensitive groups include:

  • People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • People 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.
  • People who don’t have air conditioning to reduce indoor air pollution.

Affected people may experience symptoms that could include chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue.

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