MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert for northern, central, and southeast Minnesota, including the Twin Cities.

The alert is in effect currently and will expire Thursday at 6 a.m.

Air Quality Alert (Credit: MPCA)

The MPCA said the alert was triggered by incoming smoke from Canadian wildfires, which made its way to Minnesota overnight by northerly winds.

Fine particle levels in northern Minnesota are considered very unhealthy for everyone. Heavy smoke will remain in the area through Wednesday.

The smoke made its way into central and southeast Minnesota on Tuesday afternoon; this air is considered unsafe for sensitive groups.

MPCA says the air quality should improve by Thursday morning.

The agency encourages people who are affected by unhealthy air quality, such as the elderly or those with respiratory or heart conditions, to limit their physical activity and take the proper precautions.