Haze, smoke in Twin Cities likely from N. Minn. forest firesby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Fires burning in northern Minnesota appear to be causing hazy skies and foul-smelling air across the Twin Cities metro area this afternoon.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says it has received numerous calls about the smoke.
MPCA spokesman Ralph Pribble said the agency didn't detect anything unusual on its air quality monitors in the Twin Cities. But when they checked monitors in Grand Portage and Duluth, they noticed elevated particle counts.
"That, plus the wind coming out of the north, has led us back to the fact that Duluth has been experiencing smoke odors and some haze in the air for the last couple days," Pribble said. "Add it all up and it appears that fires in northern Minnesota, along with possibly some fires in Ontario, seem to be the likely cause."
Pribble says the Pagami Creek wildfire near Ely is the largest fire burning in the state. There are also several smaller fires reported in Superior National Forest and one wildfire in Voyageurs National Park.