Warning issued about smoke haze

A health warning has been issued amid concerns about ‘extremely poor’ air quality due to smoke blanketing parts of NSW.

The health department has issued a warning to NSW residents, urging them to take precautions or risk “serious illness” from smoke inhalation.

Sydneysiders woke to the smell of smoke on Tuesday morning as several hazard reduction burns settled across the regions.

The NSW Rural Fire Service issued a smoke warning for Greater Sydney, Wollongong, the Southern Highlands and Illawarra regions on Tuesday morning.

Several hazard reduction burns are in place with burns around the Snowy Mountains and Snowy Monaro regions potentially triggering smoke haze around parts of the Illawarra, the ACT and the Southern Highlands.

Air quality in Camden is considered “extremely poor” and “very poor” in Bringelly, Liverpool and Campbelltown West, according to the NSW government’s air quality concentration data.

It prompted a warning from NSW Health’s executive director of health protection, Dr Richard Broome, who said smoke could have serious health effects, especially for people with existing heart and lung conditions.

“Smoke particles irritate the eyes and airways. For most people, this causes temporary symptoms like cough and sore throat. However, smoke particles can worsen heart and lung conditions like angina, asthma and emphysema, potentially causing serious illness,” he said in a statement.

“Over the coming days, the smoke is expected to be worse in the mornings, so people are advised to limit outdoor activity until it clears in the afternoon.”

The department said people should follow their GP’s advice about medication and asthma management

“Consult your doctor if symptoms worsen,” NSW Health said.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) also issued a warning on Tuesday morning.

“A Poor Air Quality Forecast alert is issued by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) due to elevated PM2.5 levels in Sydney for Tuesday 27 April 2021,” the BOM said.

Aside from the lingering haze, Sydney will be partly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower along the coastal fringe, most likely in the evening.

On Monday the NSW Rural Fire Service warned burns would cause smoke which would likely settle across parts of Sydney and the Illawarra.

Burns were postponed last week, and recommenced on Monday behind properties at Forestville on the northern beaches.

Smoke aside, Sydneysiders are likely to be treated by a spectacular sunset and this evening’s supermoon could take on an orange hue due.

Professor Tim Bedding, from the University of Sydney’s institute for astronomy, said if the smoke was still around on Tuesday evening the moon would be slightly more orange than usual because of the smoke in the earth’s atmosphere.

“We could get a very pretty sunset this evening and we could also get a very pretty rising moon,” he said.

Chullora, Lidcombe and Earlwood also have “very poor” air quality but the NSW RFS said smoke should lift during the morning.

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