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South Dakota air quality alert expanded statewide

July 30, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources has expanded an air quality alert to include all of South Dakota, where smoke from wildfires in Canada has settled.

The smoke is causing low visibility and increased fine particulate matter pollution to levels that may be a concern to public health.

The smoke caused poor visibility and created unhealthy air conditions for sensitive groups, such as the elderly or children.

Smoke from wildfires near Lake Winnipeg drifted southward and moved through the Sioux Falls area on Thursday, causing the city to close its public pools and the largest waterpark in the state, Wild Water West, to shutter its gates.

There are six “out of control” fires located near Lake Winnipeg in Canada as of Thursday, the Argus Leader reported. The biggest wildfire is about 304 square miles and is believed to have started by natural causes.