ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Minnesota could see a repeat of smoky skies next summer as huge fires continue in the western United States.

Daniel Dix is an air quality meteorologist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. He tells Minnesota Public Radio that wildfires are becoming more common.

State pollution control officials say climate change and years of fire suppression have created the right conditions for the abundance of massive wildfires.

Dix says weather conditions kept most of the recent smoke aloft over Minnesota. He says it did cause problems for some people with respiratory issues. Smoke can be particularly harmful to those with asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other breathing conditions.

The agency tracks air quality in 17 areas in Minnesota. Officials issued several air quality alerts from late August to mid-September.