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Minnesota wildfires level off; air quality alert extended

August 28, 2021 GMT

ISABELLA, Minn. (AP) — Fire crews were working Saturday to put out the largest of numerous wildfires in northeastern Minnesota, where smoke from the blazes prompted a warning to residents to remain indoors.

An air quality alert issued by state regulators was extended until 9 a.m. Sunday, the Star Tribune reported. The extension came as an unhealthy band of smoky air stretched from International Falls through the Iron Range to south of Brainerd.

The Greenwood Lake fire is burning on roughly 40 square miles (104 square kilometers) in the Superior National Forest and appears to have leveled off in size, according to incident command officials.

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The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said while significant fire growth was not expected Saturday, the “fire will continue producing smoke within the existing fire perimeter.”

In addition to the Greenwood Lake fire — the largest in the region — and other fires to the east, there are blazes just across the border in the Canadian Quetico Provincial Park that continue to burn with no containment, the agency said.