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Freeborn County under burning ban

Because of an issued air quality alert, Freeborn County is in a burning ban effective immediately and ending at 6 a.m. on Thursday, the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office said.

Heavy smoke from wildfires located north of the Canadian border in Ontario and Manitoba was transported into northern Minnesota overnight Monday by northerly winds. Heavy smoke will remain in this area through Wednesday. On Wednesday, fine particle levels were expected to be in the Red AQI category, a level considered unhealthy for everyone, across northern Minnesota.

Smoke was expected to mix down to the ground over northern Wisconsin and move into central and southeast Minnesota Tuesday afternoon. Fine particle levels were expected to reach the Orange AQI category, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, Tuesday across central and southeast Minnesota and remain in the Orange AQI category Wednesday. Fine particle levels will begin to improve across the state beginning Wednesday evening as winds will begin to move the smoke out of the state.

By Thursday morning, air quality should be improved below alert levels statewide.