Bushfire smoke information


What is bushfire smoke?

Bushfire smoke is made up of small particles, gases and water vapour.

The particles are known to affect the human respiratory system, and can cause a range of health problems.

Who has a greater health risk when exposed to bushfire smoke?

  • People with heart disease, or lung diseases like asthma and emphysema
  • Older adults, because they are more likely to have heart or lung disease
  • Children, because they spend more time outdoors engaged in physical activity, have developing airways, and breathe more air relative to their body weight
  • Pregnant women, because they may be more sensitive to the effects of smoke

How to protect yourself from bushfire smoke exposure

NSW Health provides the following precautions to help you minimise the risks of bushfire smoke:

  • Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and your asthma management plan. Consult your doctor if symptoms worsen
  • Avoid vigorous exercise and outdoor activity, especially if you have asthma or a lung condition
  • Stay indoors. Close doors and windows to keep out smoke
  • Spend time in air conditioned premises, like shopping centres and cinemas
  • Reduce indoor air pollution sources like cigarettes and incense sticks
  • Monitor air quality and follow health messages. Air quality information and health messages are available at NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Air Quality Index (AQI) data

Where to seek help

In an emergency, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Further information