The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has deemed Sydney’s air quality “poor”, as smoke from bushfires on the mid-north coast is pushed south. The smoke is set to hang around until a southerly change pushes it away tonight.

NSW Health has issued a statement to remind people to take care of their health as Sydneysiders choke through another day of smoky weather, a consequence of the tragic, ongoing bushfires up north. The department says that smoke contains fine particles that can affect health and can cause sore eyes, noses and throats.

Those with lung and heart conditions are advised to avoid physical activity. People with asthma should keep their medication with them at all times.

“The best way to reduce exposure to smoke is to stay indoors with the doors and windows shut,” NSW Health’s director of environmental health Doctor Richard Broome said in a statement. “Air conditioning can also help to filter particles from indoor air.”

While the fire danger for Greater Sydney isn’t as bad as it was on Tuesday – when it was rated “catastrophic” for the first time in history – there’s still a “severe” fire weather warning and a statewide fire ban. There are currently 61 bush and grass fires burning across the state; 32 of those are uncontained. The closest out-of-control fire is at Gospers Mountain in the Hawkesbury area.

Stay updated on Sydney’s air quality here. Find out how to donate to the firefighters, affected communities, and koalas here.