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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Fine particulate pollution from smoke produced by forest fires in Canada has pushed the air quality index in the Rochester area into the range considered unhealthy for everyone Tuesday afternoon.

At 2 PM, the index had risen above 160 in the Rochester area. Similar air quality index readings were reported throughout the southeast corner of Minnesota, the Twin Cities area, the far edge of east central Minnesota, and the Northeast corner of the state.


The southern third the Minnesota, east central Minnesota, and northeastern Minnesota are currently under an air-quality alert until midnight on Thursday. The alert says the air-quality index is expected to be at levels unhealthy for everyone as smoke from fires burning in Ontario and Québec continued to be pulled into the region after arriving Monday night.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the smoky conditions are expected to persist across southern Minnesota and East-central Minnesota tomorrow before a cold front arrives and delivers clearer air from the west late Wednesday.

PICTURES: See Inside NASCAR's Most Expensive Mansions

The largest NASCAR driver home includes an indoor aquarium and more than 19,000 square feet of living on 415 acres. The No. 10 home on this list of the 10 most expensive is hardly a postage stamp by comparison.

Taste of Country recently compiled the priciest NASCAR driver homes, and while a few famous names make the list, a few not-quite-as-famous names do, too. Dale Jr., Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick and the Busch brothers are a few of the drivers to look for on this list of mega-mansions. See pictures of all 10 and a full home tour of the No. 1 house.

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