The sun is shining and skies are blue on Vancouver Island, but smoke from 481 active wildfires in B.C. has still prompted a health bulletin for the region.

The smoky skies bulletin was issued Thursday for all of Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Islands, Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and much of B.C.'s Interior

Environment Canada says an increase in southerly air flow was also likely to spread smoke from wildfires burning south of the U.S-Canada border into B.C. – but it could dissipate as soon as this weekend.

"A wetter, cooler and breezier pattern towards the end of the work week is expected to improve air quality conditions across the province," Environment Canada said on its website.

Health officials ask anyone living in the affected areas to "be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health."

Anyone with health conditions, elderly, infants and kids are more likely to experience adverse effects.

If you notice your breathing becomes laboured or you feel ill, you're advised to stop or reduce your activity level.

As of Thursday, the BC Wildfire Service reported 481 fires still active in the province, down from 550 wildfires at the height of the season, with a record 13,000 square kilometres scorched this year.

Central and southern Vancouver Island was still listed as having an "extreme" fire danger by the wildfire service.