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Minnesota air quality better, but Canada’s smoke could return

Air quality in Minnesota has improved after heavy smoke from Canadian wildfires moved across the state.

The quality of air in the Twin Cities was good Tuesday, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The air quality index for fine particles reached a high of 184 at 6 p.m. Monday before starting to drop. By 4 p.m. Tuesday it was at 20.

The MPCA advised on Monday that fine-particle pollution had reached a level considered unhealthy for everyone.

The readings were among the worst ever recorded in the state, the MPCA said.

The forecast for the rest of the week was for moderate air quality, but officials say the heavy smoke could return as the Canadian wildfires continue to burn. The shifting smoke plume has also led to air quality advisories in Washington state, North and South Dakota, Colorado and Wisconsin.

In Canada, soldiers arrived Tuesday to help battle the raging wildfires in the western province of Saskatchewan, where more than 10,000 people have been evacuated in recent days. Premier Brad Wall said it is the biggest evacuation effort in Saskatchewan’s history. Wildfires were also burning in British Columbia.

For current Minnesota air quality conditions, go to www.pca.state.mn.us/aqi.

Related: ND health department responds to several oil, gas spills.

This article was written by Katie Kather from St. Paul Pioneer Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.