St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The air quality alert for the western third of Minnesota has been expanded to cover the entire state.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the smoke from the giant wildfires in western Canada are now predicted to spread across the state this weekend and result in periods of time during which the levels of fine particulates in the air will be high enough to be unhealthy for so-called “sensitive groups.” That includes the very young and old and those with chronic heart and respiratory conditions.

Officials say the air quality is forecast to degrade this evening across northern Minnesota, while the smokey air is not to impact air quality in southern Minnesota until midday tomorrow. A switch to more southerly winds is predicted on Sunday and that is expected bring cleaner air in and push the smoke out by Sunday afternoon.