The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Smoke from the Pagami Fire

The air has cleared today in Grand Portage (and back at my home in the Colvill area). The level of fine particulates lowered yesterday afternoon, and there is currently no air quality alert issued. However, please pay attention to your health as the Pagami Fire continues to increase. The smoke levels are changing quickly. Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michcigan are having air quality alerts. Chicago was experiencing haze from the Pagami Fire yesterday (Photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune). I was in Grand Marais on Monday when the fire increased and the smoke plume went through town. The sun was a bright, fire red, and the smell of wood smoke took over the town. Yesterday, smoke spread to Grand Portage in the afternoon and for a few hours haze filled the air.

Here is a satellite image of the smoke plume from the fire on Monday (Picture courtesy of CIMSS Satellite Blog). Smoke contains fine particulates, and there is a monitor at Trust Lands that measures the levels of these particules each hour. I will post air quality alerts as the monitor shows elevated levels of particulates. However, if you smell smoke, stay indoors and do not draw smoky air inside.

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