South Dakotans dealing with poor air quality from wildfires

National Weather Service image: Air quality Friday will likely remain in the "unhealthy" to "very unhealthy" category until the rain arrives. For air quality readings or information on how to protect your health when smoke is reducing air quality, visit

SIOUX FALLS (AP) – Light rain could provide a bit of help with air quality in eastern South Dakota which has been dealing with smoke from Canadian wildfires.

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 eastern South Dakota on Thursday, causing the Sioux Falls to close its public pools and the largest waterpark in the state, Wild Water West, to shutter its gates. While Sioux Falls pools were expected to reopen Friday afternoon, the waterpark remained closed.

There were 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.



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