Bush Fire Smoke Alert

22 November 2019
Air quality across much of the south east corner of the state is still being affected by smoke, with conditions similar to yesterday (21-11-2019). The smoke levels still vary across regions within Queensland, with areas in the vicinity of active bushfires reporting poorer air quality and many areas have air quality below that which is normally experienced.
The associated health advice remains the same as Thursday (21-11-2019). People are urged to remain vigilant while fires continue to burn in communities across the state and it is important that vulnerable groups (children, elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic disease including those with respiratory issues) continue taking precautions to protect their health.
Rainwater tanks and bore water-holding tanks impacted by bushfires and other natural disasters are likely to contain harmful material. This is likely to mean the water stored in the affected tanks will not be suitable for normal use. For more information on how to restore rainwater tanks after a bushfire see Bushfire and roof-harvested rainwater (PDF 215 kB).

Protecting your health

The community is advised to remain alert to the levels of smoke from current bushfire conditions.
It is especially important for vulnerable people to remain vigilant in the current conditions. That includes:People with pre-existing lung or heart conditions should rest as much as possible and keep away from the smoke. Anyone with a heart or lung condition should follow the treatment plan advised by their doctor and keep at least five days’ supply of medication on hand.People with asthma should follow their personal asthma plan.
Assist your vulnerable family members, neighbours and friends. It is important to identify locations that have cleaner, filtered air-conditioned spaces (e.g. shopping centres, community centres, libraries etc).
If you are experiencing any adverse reactions to the dust or smoke, such as shortness of breath, prolonged coughing or wheezing, seek medical advice.
Stay up to date with local news reports. This advice may be varied as conditions change.
All air conditioners should be switched to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’ mode. If you do not have an air conditioner, take steps to reduce heat stress, especially for the very young, people who are unwell, or the elderly.
If there is a break in smoky conditions, take the opportunity to air out your home to improve indoor air quality and minimise other sources of air pollution, such as cigarette smoke
Considerations for the community include:Reduce outdoor activity if possible. If air quality is very poor, consider remaining indoors. If you are staying indoors, close all windows and doors and operate air-conditioners if available.Reduce vigorous exercise outside especially if you have asthma, diabetes, heart disease or a breathing related condition, and keep medication close by. If quality is very poor, consider avoiding vigorous exercise.
Schools and childcare centres should assess the risks of outdoor activities. Where air quality is very poor children should stay indoors in areas with air-conditioning and/or ceiling fans
Organisers of outdoor events should assess the risks and if the air quality is very poor consider postponing the event until air quality improves.
It is important to also stay hydrated by drinking water

Bushfire smoke – what is it?

Bushfire smoke is a mixture of different-sized particles, water vapour and gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. During bushfires and similar events, large amounts of finer particles are released that are small enough to breathe deep into the lungs and can cause adverse health effects.

More information
Contact your doctor, hospital or health clinic
Call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) at any time
Bushfire smoke and your health
Health advisory: Bushfire smoke warning 12 November 2019 (PDF 94 kB)
Check the air quality in your local area
Rainwater tanks affected by natural disasters (including bore-water tanks) (PDF 112 kB)
Bushfire and roof-harvested rainwater (PDF 212KB)

image_pdfclick to downloadimage_printclick to print