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.

Date published:
General public

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:

  • asthma
  • emphysema
  • angina

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.

General health information

Read more about bushfire smoke in your area

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