The Ministry of Environment and Northern Health have expanded the Smoky Skies Bulletin issued on Sunday due to wildfire smoke in the area.

The affected area now covers the entire Cariboo and extends from Prince George all the way to the eastern edge of the Bulkley Valley, including Fort St. James and Fraser Lake.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Cindy Yu says a change in the wind is mostly responsible. “Today (Wednesday) we are seeing the upper-level winds shifting westerly to a south westerly and that’s where the smoke is going if you have a fire to the southwest you will certainly be affected.”

Some wet conditions could be in store for the Cariboo on Wednesday according to Yu. “We do see a small chance of showers for the Cariboo this afternoon but the downside of that is a risk of a thundershower as well.”

Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behavior and temperatures change.

Residents in the area are advised to consider avoiding strenuous outdoor activities. Infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease are particularly vulnerable to exposure.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of a cough or irritation of airways.