With thick smoke blanketing the South East due to ongoing fires and firefighting operations right across the state, people are urged to be aware of potential health concerns.
Fires in the state's north, as well as a large bushfire and ongoing back-burning at Currowan in the northern Eurobodalla are seeing smoke continuing to shroud the coast.
Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) is urging people with respiratory conditions in particular to take extra care, as poor air quality caused by bushfires may affect their breathing.
People are advised to take precautions and stay indoors to avoid irritations to the eyes, nose and throat, and to avoid aggravating existing lung and heart conditions. Older adults and people with heart and lung conditions are most susceptible to the effects of air pollution and excessive smoke.
SNSWLHD outlined a range of simple tips to help stay safe and healthy during the smoke/poor air quality:
- People with asthma, heart disease and other lung and heart conditions should avoid vigorous outdoor physical activity when smoke is around.
- Staying indoors with the doors and windows shut is an effective way of reducing exposure to smoke.
- People with asthma or a lung condition should follow their Asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Action Plan and carry their relieving medication with them. If your symptoms do not settle, seek medical advice.
- In case of emergency always dial Triple Zero.
If smoky conditions are prolonged for several days or more:
- Keep doors and windows of your home closed while smoke is about and take advantage of any breaks in the smoky conditions to air out your home.
- If possible, spend some time in air-conditioning with the air-conditioner set to recirculate indoor air.
- Consider postponing outdoor events, especially sporting and other physically active events.
- Avoid indoor sources of air pollution like candles, incense, and wood burning heaters.
For more information, Health NSW has this factsheet on bushfire smoke