ROCHESTER, Minn - You may have noticed some hazy skies over our area during the past few days.
Smoke from wildfires across the western part of the country has been drifting all the way into Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. The fires have added so much smoke into the atmosphere that health officials at the Mayo Clinic are sounding the alarm on their impact on air quality.
Cities across the West Coast have been inundated with smoke, causing air quality to nosedive. Mayo Clinic officials say it's particularly concerning for people in high-risk groups such as the elderly and those with chronic respiratory conditions.
Doctor Clayton Cowl of the Mayo Clinic notes because there are so many buildings being burnt, many made with synthetic materials, officials should be monitoring toxicity levels in the air.
"With a lot of these combustions of newer construction products, when you get plastics that break down and burn, you can get systemic poisonings through carbon monoxide and cyanide based compounds," Cowl said.
KIMT Stormteam 3 meteorologists say air quality is still good in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa, and most of the smoke we're seeing in the sky is staying high up in the atmosphere.