UNDATED -- Smoke from wildfires in Ontario and Manitoba that pushed air quality into the "unhealthy" range over much of Minnesota Thursday is expected to gradually clear out Friday.

But relief will be short-lived because a cold front will send another shot of smoke into Minnesota on Saturday lingering into Sunday.

Officials advise limiting outdoor activity, but Nick Witcraft with the state Pollution Control Agency says if you have to be outside...

"The good thing with COVID -- if you could call it good -- is that a lot of people have N-95 masks, and N-95 masks would work for filtering the smoke if you're outside."

Forecasters expect smoke levels in Minnesota to wax and wane with the prevailing winds for the rest of the summer because the Canadian wildfires are expected to burn for a number of weeks.

Get our free mobile app

An Air Quality Alert remains in effect for almost all of Minnesota until 3:00 p.m. Friday.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires has created some of the highest particulate readings on record. Gov. Tim Walz and several other governors plan to talk virtually with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris about the nation's growing wildfire crisis Friday.

On Thursday, much of Minnesota was dealing with air so smoky that it blocked out the sun.

The U.S. Forest Services says three wildfires in Quetico Provincial Park could spread
into Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Crooked and Iron
lakes.

This story is courtesy of the Minnesota News Network.