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Smoke from hazard reduction

Hazard reduction is an important part of preparing for bush fires. It helps protect people, property and the environment.

Fire agencies and land managers work together to minimise the impact of smoke from hazard reduction burning.

Controlled burns are planned well in advance. They’re planned to have minimal impact on the environment and the community.

Before starting a hazard reduction burn, fire agencies and land managers consider weather forecasts and conditions, any impact on the community, and the need to complete this important work to help reduce the risk of destructive fires.

While we use the best information and forecasts available, sometimes it’s difficult to predict where smoke will spread and what kind of impact it will have on the community.

If you are likely to experience problems relating to smoke, think now about what you’ll do.

Your health and smoke

Smoke from bush fires and hazard reduction burning can affect some people more than others.

NSW Health reminds people that children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions are most susceptible to the effects of air pollution and excessive smoke.

If you have asthma or a lung condition, reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high and if shortness of breath or coughing develops, take your reliever medicine or seek medical advice.  

Asthma sufferers need to follow their Asthma Action Plan and take their relieving medication where necessary. If symptoms get worse, asthma sufferers need to seek medical advice. Further advice is available from the Asthma Foundation website.

Here are some tips to stay safe during hazard reduction burning.

  • Monitor the NSW RFS hazard reduction page for information about planned burns and smoke advisories in your area.
  • Keep doors and windows closed to prevent smoke from entering your home.
  • Remove washing from clotheslines.
  • Ensure pets have a protected area.
  • If you’re driving through a smoky area, slow down, keep your windows up and turn your headlights on.
  • Don’t call Triple Zero just to report that it’s smoky. Save Triple Zero for emergencies.

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