If you've looked outside this afternoon, you've probably wondered why it is so darn hazy around the Twin Ports this afternoon. The simple answer is smoke from a wildfire is drifting into the region, leading to the haze and slight smell of smoke.

A nearly 6,000-acre wildfire in Northwestern Minnesota that broke out Sunday night not far from Roseau is the culprit in this case, as a low pressure center located north of Thunder Bay and a cold front pushing across the region is bringing in air from Northwestern Minnesota toward the Twin Ports this afternoon and bringing with it some of the smoke from the fire.

A MNDOT camera on the Iron Range caught some of that same smoke leading to visibility issues at the Highway 53 bridge near Hibbing earlier Tuesday.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, who monitors air quality, has moderate air quality ratings for much of Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin. The reason for the moderate rating for this part of the region is due to particulate matter from the smoke in the air from that fire.

The MPCA describes moderate quality as "acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone or particulates may experience respiratory symptoms."

You can monitor the latest air quality conditions from the MPCA here.

The National Weather Service says that the haze should become less intense through the later hours of Tuesday as that cold front passes through the area.

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