ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- There has been a notable change in air quality since the wildfires in Canada have been affecting our region, and the smoke can have harmful effects on the lungs if too much is inhaled. 

Dry conditions have caused fires to start and spread easily in the north. There is an explanation as to why our region's air is being affected by something happening so far away. 

“The reason we are experiencing this smoke is because there is a weather pattern blowing the smoke down to us. So, there have been wildfires going on more than just today, but the reason the smoke is reaching us now is that the weather is blowing it here,” said Alistair Hayden, professor of public and ecosystem health at Cornell University. 

Precautions need to be taken while outside when dealing with poor air quality. There are some easy steps to take ahead of the holiday weekend. 

"To protect yourself from wildfire smoke, we recommend that you go indoors, you close all of the doors and windows, and [it is] really important that you use an air filter of some kind,” added Hayden.

Don't forget about the four-legged members of the family this summer. Cornell experts in veterinary sciences say there are ways to protect the family pets from the harmful effects as well. 

“We want to prevent pets from being exposed to high doses of smoke outside.  It's not possible to completely eliminate the smoke indoors, but anything we can do to reduce it would be helpful,” said Brian Glenn Collins, senior lecturer, section of community practice service section chief at Cornell University. 

If you are planning to spend a lot of time outside, you can check the air quality of your region at