Wildfire haze

Smoke from western wildfires contribute to hazy conditions over the South Sioux City, Nebraska skyline on Friday. 

SIOUX CITY -- A haze of smoke visible throughout the area is caused by fires burning in western Canada as well as California. 

Jeff Chapman, a meteorologist with the Sioux Falls National Weather Service, said the smoke coming from Alberta, British Columbia and California, while causing only a "fairly minor" degree of visibility problems, is leading to air-quality concerns. 

"It is a little bit dangerous air quality right now," Chapman said. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert for the western portion of that state. 

"In general, across the area, the air quality is hazardous," Chapman said. 

People who are prone to respiratory problems due to poor air quality, like the elderly and asthmatics, should try to avoid straining themselves. 

"It's a good idea to limit exertion," Chapman said. 

The smoke may begin to clear up Saturday. 

"We should begin to clear out the near-surface smoke a little bit," Chapman said. "We'll still be carrying quite a bit of smoke aloft for a while." 

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