Dr Vanessa Johnston, Public Health Physician, and Dr Greg Hollis, Clinical Director of Canberra Hospital Emergency Department, providing health advice on smoky air and extreme heat conditions.
With temperatures above 40 degrees forecast today and the heavy smoke haze lingering across Canberra, our health advice on smoke and extreme heat remains the same.
During periods of heavy smoke haze, all Canberrans are advised to avoid physical activity outside.
People who are sensitive to smoke, especially those with pre-existing heart and lung conditions, should take extra care and stay indoors where possible and take medication prescribed by their doctor.
Anyone with concerns about their health should seek medical advice from their doctor. And 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).
Staying healthy in the Heat
People who are sensitive to smoke and air pollution can also be more vulnerable to heat-related illness. This includes:
• people with heart or lung conditions (including asthma)
• children aged less than 14 years
• pregnant women, and
• people over 65 years of age.
With the extreme heat, it is important for everyone to be aware and prepare for the hot temperatures by staying hydrated and cool.
People should make sure they are drinking plenty of cool water – don’t wait until you are thirsty. People should also avoid being outdoors in the hottest parts of the day.
While these heavy levels of smoke are lingering, and in the extreme heat conditions, we strongly advise those who are more vulnerable to remain indoors and keeping activity levels as low as possible.
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.
Where can I find further information?
For further information on minimising the health impacts of outdoor smoke, refer to our factsheet.
The ACT Health Directorate is continuing 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 those interested in monitoring the levels of smoke in the air (PM2.5), see our Health advice for smoky air page.
At this time, the smoky air conditions are expected to continue to impact the ACT while the NSW bushfires are burning, with dense smoke impacting a large area of our region. For further information on weather conditions, visit: www.bom.gov.au