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22° & CLOUDY ON THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER IN BRISBANE
TRAVEL & LEISURE

A Haze of Smoke Is Currently Affecting the Air Quality in Brisbane

Thick smoke from bushfires across Queensland and New South Wales is currently affecting large parts of the city.
By Libby Curran and Sarah Ward
November 11, 2019
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A Haze of Smoke Is Currently Affecting the Air Quality in Brisbane

Thick smoke from bushfires across Queensland and New South Wales is currently affecting large parts of the city.
By Libby Curran and Sarah Ward
November 11, 2019
  shares

Brisbanites venturing outdoors for the next two days could find the whole breathing thing a little less fun than usual — as you may have noticed, it's pretty smoky out there. As the result of bushfires burning across both Queensland and New South Wales, a layer of smoke has made its way across the city and is expected to stick around for at least 48 hours.

Needless to say, it's affecting air quality, with the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science's air quality monitor labelling the Brisbane CBD, as well as areas in the city's east, south and west, as "very poor" on the afternoon of Monday, November 11. South Brisbane, Woolloongabba, Cannon Hill, Lytton, Rocklea, Wynnum, Wynnum West and Springwood are among the regions affected — so, a big chunk of the city. So is Flinders View, where Ipswich's readings are taken, and Southport, where the Gold Coast's levels are measured.

Also in southeast Queensland, Mountain Creek at Buderim — where the Sunshine Coast's readings are taken — is listed as "poor". Only Deception Bay is marked as "good", while Mutdapilly between Ipswich and the Scenic Rim region ranks as "fair", as does North Maclean, where Logan's levels are measured.

With air quality levels dropping overnight, Queensland Health has upgraded its warnings to Brisbane, Gold Coast and Ipswich residents.  The government body suggests that everyone cut back on strenuous outdoor activities, as well as going outside in general — if you can. Those with chronic respiratory or heart conditions are especially advised to avoid all outdoor physical activity and stay indoors where possible. It's also recommended that you carry your inhaler, follow your Asthma Action Plan, and keep your other medication with you for all breathing-related conditions. If you start experiencing symptoms, even if you're otherwise fit and healthy, seek medical advice.

For those staying indoors, Queensland Health also suggests turning your air conditioner on — if you have one — and using it on recirculate mode. With Brisbane firmly in the grip of warm end-of-year weather, and temperatures expected to reach 34 on Tuesday and 35 on Wednesday, residents are also advised to be wary of the heat, as well as its combination with the hazy air. Drinking plenty of fluids, taking cool showers to keep your temperature down, soaking your feet in water and draping a wet cloth around your neck are also recommended.

With a State of Fire Emergency declared across 42 Local Government Areas in Queensland, including Brisbane — and with the Queensland Rural Fire Service continuing to battle numerous blazes across the state — this situation isn't likely to change quickly. Queensland FES expects that bushfire conditions will increase on Tuesday, and linger through until at least this coming weekend.

It should go without saying, but as part of the State of Fire Emergency, the lighting of all types of outdoor fires is banned.

At the time of writing, the service has 56 current bushfire incidents listed in Queensland. It has also given southeast Queensland from Wide Bay and Burnett down to the NSW border a fire danger rating of at least "very high" until Thursday, November 14 — jumping up to "severe" on Wednesday, November 13.

You can keep an eye on the fires burning across the state at the Queensland Rural Fire Service website. For more tips on staying safe during smoky conditions, head to the Queensland Health website.

Top image: Air quality in Woolloongabba via Darren Ward.

Published on November 11, 2019 by Libby Curran

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