Forest fires popping up along the eastern part of the province are making for smokier air in the region, which has Manitoba health officials reminding people with breathing problems to be on their toes.

A major forest fire burned east of Caddy Lake near the Manitoba-Ontario border late this week. It forced cottagers in the Beresford subdivision at Nopiming Provincial Park to leave the area Friday night.

Elyse Weiss, deputy chief public health officer with the province, advised people with asthma and other breathing issues to check Environment Canada’s website before planning outdoor activities.

“The people who are most at risk would be children, pregnant women, seniors or anyone at any age with lung or heart problems,” Weiss said. “Modify your physical activity, because anything that makes you breathe heavier, you might be more at risk of breathing the particulates into your lungs.”

Weiss said those at risk need to take appropriate precautions if they begin to show symptoms of exposure to smoke, including watery eyes or an itchy, dry throat.