NSW, ACT: authorities forecast hazardous smoke haze and dust

NSW Health is warning of the impact of smoke haze and dust on Sunday, with Sydney’s air quality forecast to be poor due to particles.

“A change in wind direction is likely to bring smoke from the southern NSW and ACT bushfires into eastern parts of Sydney, the Illawarra, and possibly the Central Coast and Newcastle this morning,” NSW Health said in a statement on Sunday.

NSW Health medical advisor Dr Adi Vyas said dust storms in western NSW may affect western Sydney.

“People with chronic respiratory and cardiovascular conditions should avoid outdoor physical activity and those with asthma should also follow their Asthma Action Plan and carry their reliever medication with them,” Dr Vyas said in a statement.

“Minimising physical activity, staying indoors and knowing your treatment plan are important ways to reduce the risk of dust and smoke-related illness.

On Sunday morning, four fires were still at “watch and act” level.

RELATED: Megablaze burns a fifth of the ACT

RELATED: NSW heatwave sparks five emergency warnings


An out-of-control fire sparked by embers from a blaze in the ACT is still testing NSW firefighters, as health experts warn poor air quality will affect parts of the state today, including Sydney.

The intense fires that licked through Michelago, Colinton and Bredbo yesterday left a path of destruction behind. The extent of the damage and the total number of properties affected is yet to be confirmed.

Firefighting crews in the area were on alert for downbursts of air that could exacerbate the spread of fire in the area – so intense were the blazes that they were generating their own weather.

Very high fire danger is forecast for Sunday for the north coast, greater Hunter, greater Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, central ranges, northern slopes and north western fire regions.

media_cameraA New Zealand air force helicopter flies over Wyndham, looking over the Big Jack Mountain fire in the Bega Valley. Picture: Toby Zerna
Fire and Rescue NSW fireys put out spot fires in the Bega Valley near Wyndham. Picture: Toby Zernapacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/NSW-ACT-authorities-forecast-hazardous-smoke-haze-and-dust.jpeg”/>
media_cameraFire and Rescue NSW fireys put out spot fires in the Bega Valley near Wyndham. Picture: Toby Zerna
Locals attempting to put out spot fires in the Bega Valley. Picture: Toby Zernapacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/1580598848_0_NSW-ACT-authorities-forecast-hazardous-smoke-haze-and-dust.webp”/>
media_cameraLocals attempting to put out spot fires in the Bega Valley. Picture: Toby Zerna

A total fire ban remains in place across the ACT despite the downgrading of a persistent blaze in the territory’s south from emergency level.

The out-of-control Clear Range blaze, created from embers that spread from the ACT’s large Orroral Valley blaze, has been downgraded to “advice” level.

The Orroral Valley blaze was downgraded on Saturday afternoon to “watch and act” after southern ACT residents were earlier warned the 55,000-hectare fire could pose a threat to lives. Properties have been lost and one-fifth of the ACT burned in the Orroral Valley and Clear Range bushfires. The fires remain out of control and will burn for weeks.

An RFS spokeswoman on Saturday night said there had been unconfirmed reports of possibly five structures lost.

“Fire activity has eased across the fire ground,” the ACT’s Emergency Services Agency said in a statement on Saturday evening.

People in the areas of Apollo Road, Boboyan Road, Naas Road and Top Naas Road need to remain vigilant as conditions can again deteriorate. Those in Tharwa also need to monitor conditions.

Flames in the Bega Valley near Wyndham. Picture: Toby Zernapacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/1580598850_946_NSW-ACT-authorities-forecast-hazardous-smoke-haze-and-dust.jpeg”/>
media_cameraFlames in the Bega Valley near Wyndham. Picture: Toby Zerna


Temperatures in Canberra on Saturday topped 40C for a second consecutive day, with the mercury in Canberra hitting 42.7C just before 3pm.

The nation’s capital can expect more of the same today, expected to hit a top of 34C.

There’ll be little reprieve from the heat in Sydney on Sunday, with a top of 31C forecast in the city and 38C expected in the west. Chances of a thunderstorm are forecast in the afternoon/evening.

Authorities are warning people to stay indoors if possible and take extra care in the heat.

“Ongoing heatwave conditions means that we all need to take extra care over the coming days,” Dr Viyas warned.

“Storms, possibly severe, are forecast for many parts of NSW on Sunday including Sydney. Storms inland may raise dust,” the NSW Bureau of Meteorology posted on Twitter on Saturday night.

Originally published as NSW residents warned: ‘Stay inside’

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