Health alert: bushfires and smoke
Many areas of Australia are currently affected by bushfires and smoke. Find out how to manage the health effects of bushfire smoke and where to find local information.
Many parts of Australia remain under threat from bushfires.
If you are in an area affected by bushfires, please listen to the instructions given by emergency services personnel.
Important messages are often played on your local ABC radio.
If you need emergency assistance, ring triple zero (000).
How can bushfire smoke affect your health?
Smoke contains fine particles that can affect your health.
For most people, smoke causes mild symptoms like:
- sore eyes
- sore nose
- sore throat
However, it can be more dangerous for people with existing lung and heart conditions like:
People with these conditions should avoid outdoor physical activity when there’s smoke
If you have asthma, you should follow your Asthma Action Plan and keep your asthma
medication with you.
The best way to reduce exposure to smoke is to stay indoors with the doors and windows shut.
Air conditioning can also help to filter particles from indoor air.
If you operate an air conditioner during smoky conditions, switch it to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’ to reduce smoke coming inside your home.
Real time air quality
For long periods of smoke haze, it may not be possible to stay indoors all the time.
Monitoring your local air quality can help you find the right time to go outside when the risk is lowest.
- Australian Capital Territory Air Quality Index
- New South Wales Current and Forecast Air Quality
- Northern Territory Air Quality Network
- Queensland Air Quality Monitoring
- South Australia Air Quality Monitoring
- Tasmania Real Time Air Quality
- Victoria AirWatch
- Western Australia Air Quality Index
General health information
- If you are a GP. the Royal Australian College for General Practitioners has information for GPs impacted by bushfires
- Read Health Direct's article about bushfires and your health
Read more about bushfire smoke in your area
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Northern Territory
- Western Australia