By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Smoke from Canadian wildfires is expected to drift into northern Minnesota on Thursday and reduce air quality to dangerous levels.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued an air quality alert for nearly all of north-central and northwestern Minnesota. The alert is scheduled to last until 9 p.m. Friday.

According to officials, northwesterly winds are expected to bring smoke from the dozens of wildfires burning in southern Canada into northern Minnesota. Communities across the alert area will see air quality deteriorate to levels dangerous for those in sensitive groups, such as people with heart or lung issues.

However, some areas of extreme northern Minnesota could see air quality drop to levels dangerous to everyone.

Officials advise people in the alert area to limit time outdoors, postpone rigorous physical activity and keep away from polluted areas, such as busy roads and wood fires.

Since late last month, Minnesota has been dealing with near-daily air quality alerts connected to Canadian wildfire smoke. Last weekend, the state was under an “unprecedented” poor air quality alert.