Smoke from wildfires burning in northwestern Ontario was blowing into the region early this week, prompting the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to issue an air pollution alert for an area from International Falls to Grand Portage and down to Duluth, including the North Shore. It went into effect at 9 a.m. Tuesday and was expected to expire Wednesday.

In Two Harbors, people had been wondering where the smell of smoke was coming from. Particles from the fire can create health problems for people with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases, the elderly, children, and those who engage in activities involving extended or heavy physical exertion.

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The fine airborne particles can aggravate pre-existing health conditions and can result in chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing or fatigue. People who experience these symptoms are advised to consult a physician.