Heavy wildfire smoke could be camped out in southwestern Saskatchewan for the foreseeable future.

A special air quality statement was issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) yesterday for the region and conditions might not improve until Friday.

However, if they do, it might be a light reprieve as, Terri Lang, a meteorologist with ECCC believes poor air quality will return for the weekend.

"It's always notoriously hard to forecast," she said. "Sometimes the smoke will stay in the higher levels of the atmosphere and you look up and see an orange sky but then sometimes it will mix down to the surface where we live and breathe kind of like last night."  

The ECCC's weather station in Swift Current listed the air quality health index at 10+ (very high risk) as of 11 a.m. 

"It's especially dangerous for those that have the breathing conditions to start with," she said. "But it can also affect healthy people. The advice is to limit the amount of time you're outside in the smoke and how much you're exerting yourself outside because you're ingesting the smoke even more."

The smokey conditions have already made it to parts of the southeastern United States, a feat that is common for the number of fires and areas burned in Alberta and British Columbia.

"Smoke can travel tens of thousands of miles," she explained. "What happens is it gets up in the higher atmosphere the way the jet stream is, the jet stream winds can be 200-300 km/hr so if you take a plume of smoke and send it up there, it can travel incredible distances."

Poor air quality can also affect temperature projections as it acts as a filter and suppresses them by up to a few degrees.