BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The wildfire smoke is finally on it’s way out of New York State, but it could return this summer.

Finally Western New York is breathing a bit easier tonight. A lot of the dense smoke has moved out of the region and won’t be back this weekend. Experts say if we see some specific conditions, more of that smoke will be back in our neck of the woods.

Unprecedented smoke waves blanketed the northeast this week because of raging wildfires in eastern canada and a stationary low pressure system

“What was causing the problems and causing the poor air quality was an upper level low that was located and you can see the flow that is bringing the air from north to south and that is roughly where the fire was located,” Kirk Apffel, the lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Buffalo, said.

The cause of the wildfire is still unknown, but most in Canada aren’t caused by humans.

“In general in Canada, over half of the wildfires in canada are caused by lightning strike,” Alistair Hayden, professor of public and ecosystem health at Cornell University, added.

Many are asking if it could happen again. The answer is complicated, but in short, it can.

“If the fires are still burning, that pattern is possible to develop again; however, it’s not a climatologically favorable pattern. It doesn’t happen all that often,” Apffel continued.

“Wildfires can actually go for months, though usually the intense, hot burning part is much shorter than that,” Hayden said.

Firefighting strategies for wildfires doesn’t include putting them out. First, containment measures are used to prevent it from spreading.

“This can be mechanical. You can drive a bulldozer, knock some things over. You can light backfires. We actually use miniature fires to remove some of the fuels before the fire gets there. Or another common one is to use chemical suppressants,” Hayden explained.

In the middle of next week, meteorologists are forecasting another low pressure system , which has the potential to usher in more smoke.

“There will be another upper level low. It’s not sure where it is actually might be. It looks like its origin might be a little bit south of where the previous one was, so I wouldn’t necessarily say we are going to get the same conditions,” Apffel said.

Experts say if the smoke does return, it is important to be prepared and take precaution like wearing an N-95 mask when outside, using an air purifier and closing all windows and doors.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.