Thick bushfire smoke has blanketed the Great Lakes on and off since the first bushfires began in late October.
Hunter New England Health advise people to take precautions and stay indoors to avoid irritations to the eyes, nose and throat, and to avoid aggravating existing lung and heart conditions, Hunter New England Local Health District public health physician, Dr David Durrheim said.
"Older adults and people with heart and lung conditions are most susceptible to the effects of air pollution and excessive smoke."
There are some 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.
Simple tips to stay safe in poor air quality and reduce your exposure to smoke:
- 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.
Conditions to worsen on Tuesday
The NSW Rural Fire Service is expecting fire conditions on Tuesday, November 12, to be similar or worse than those experienced on Friday.
"The risk of the current fires flaring and breaching containment is real, RFS Mid Coast district officer, Stuart Robb said.
"People in the area need to remain vigilant over coming days but be aware that the risk on Tuesday is greater than we have seen to date.
"There are large sections of unburnt vegetation with in containment lines across many fire grounds.
"It is expected that as the Fire Danger Index rises, these fire are likely become active again. This will increase the risk of breaches of containment.
"Even if your plan is to leave early, the more you prepare your home, the more likely it will survive a bush fire or ember attack.
"A well prepared home can also be easier for you or firefighters to defend, and is less likely to put your neighbours' homes at risk.
"A well prepared home will also give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave."
It is important to keep up to date. Download the Fires Near Me app and set up a watch area. This will push info to about new fires as well as major fire updates.
"Think about the conditions. These will be similar or worse to those we have seen over the past week. Fires will start easily and spread rapidly. The safest option is to leave on the morning of a bad fire weather day."
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