Get used to it: smoke haze is likely to worsen

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THE smoke haze from NSW bushfires shrouding the ACT is expected to worsen and intensify this evening and the smoky conditions are forecast to remain until at least Thursday.

The smoke causing a halo effect around traffic lights in Curtin last night (December 7). Photo: Ian Meikle

That’s the word from public health physician Dr Vanessa Johnston who says: “Due to the poor air quality, all Canberrans should avoid prolonged or heavy physical activity outside when there is smoke around.

“People sensitive to air pollution, including those with chronic heart or lung conditions, children 14 years or younger, pregnant women and people over 65 years should avoid all physical activity outside.

“Anyone with a heart or lung condition should take their medication as prescribed by their doctor. People with asthma should follow their asthma action plan. Anyone with concerns about their health should seek medical advice from their doctor. Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness or difficulty breathing should seek urgent medical attention and in the event of a medical emergency call triple-zero (000).”

People can take the following precautions to help minimise the effects of smoke and air pollution:

  • Stay indoors, with windows and doors closed.
  • Stay in air-conditioned premises and switch the air-conditioner to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’ to reduce the amount of smoke entering the building.
  • Visit a local air-conditioned building such as a library, community centre or shopping centre.
  • Check on elderly neighbours or other people who you think might need extra help.

ACT Health says it is monitoring air quality and will advise the public of additional public health advice as information becomes available.

For further information on the health impacts of outdoor smoke, check out our outdoor smoke fact sheet on the ACT Health website.

For further information on weather conditions, visit: bom.gov.au

Heavy smoke fills the air, but no fires in Canberra

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