Health alert: Air quality set to deteriorate tonight due to smoke

The smoke haze across the ACT is expected to continue throughout the day and is likely to intensify into the evening.

Public Health Physician, Dr Vanessa Johnston says the ACT Health Directorate’s air quality monitoring also indicates that these smoky conditions are forecast to remain until at least Wednesday.

“Due to the poor air quality, all Canberrans should avoid prolonged or heavy physical activity outside when there is smoke around. Anyone who is sensitive to the effects of smoke and air pollution should take measures to reduce their exposure,” Dr Johnston said.

“People sensitive to air pollution, including those with chronic heart or lung conditions, children 14 years or younger, pregnant women and people over 65 years should avoid all physical activity outside.

“Anyone with a heart or lung condition should take their medication as prescribed by their doctor. People with asthma should follow their asthma action plan. Anyone with concerns about their health should seek medical advice from their doctor. Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness or difficulty breathing should seek urgent medical attention and in the event of a medical emergency call triple-zero (000)”, Dr Johnston said.

People can take the following precautions to help minimise the effects of smoke and air pollution: 

  • Stay indoors, with windows and doors closed;
  • Stay in air-conditioned premises and switch the air-conditioner to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’ to reduce the amount of smoke entering the building;
  • Visit a local air-conditioned building such as a library, community centre or shopping centre; and
  • Check on elderly neighbours or other people who you think might need extra help.

ACT Health will continue to monitor the air quality in the ACT and will advise the public of additional public health advice when needed and as information becomes available. 

For further information on the health impacts of outdoor smoke, check out our outdoor smoke fact sheet on the ACT Health website.

For further information on weather conditions, visit:

Page last updated on: 16 Dec 2019