Bushfires have created a blanket of smoke over parts of Sydney, with residents warned ‘particles’ could pass into their lungs.
The poor air quality in areas of Greater Sydney is a result of the out-of-control Pilliga Forest bushfire.
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Smoke is travelling southeast on strong northerly winds, with airborne particles also affecting the northwest of NSW and the Hunter region.
The haze in Sydney is expected to ease as winds change later on Tuesday, NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) spokesperson Greg Allan told 7NEWS.com.au.
“There is a forecast southerly change later this evening. So if you’re tracking that on the weather apps, you’ll see that slowly moving up the coast,” he said.
“That should then push any smoke, and any other pollution, out of the Greater Sydney region. That won’t be until later tonight, but that should help to clear the smoke.”
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The state government’s air quality testing data reported the air quality is “poor” in Parramatta North, Macquarie Park and Rouse Hill.
The Department of Planning and Environment has measured up to 200 microgrammes of PM10 — particles with a diameter of 10 micrometres or fewer — within a single cubic metre of air in the areas.
“These particles can pass into the lungs,” the department said.
“Short-term impacts include difficulty in breathing and worsening of asthma or chronic bronchitis symptoms. They can also cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat.”
Sydney has been blanketed with a smokey haze. Credit: Supplied
Sensitive groups are urged to avoid outdoor physical activity if they are beginning to develop symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath. It’s also advised sensitive groups in affected areas close windows when inside and follow their own treatment plans.
Everyone else is simply advised to reduce outdoor physical activity if those same symptoms occur.
In Cammeray, Rozelle, Alexandria, Earlwood, Lidcombe, Liverpool, Bringelly, St Marys, Prospect, and on the Bradfield Highway, the air quality is listed as “fair”.
In these areas, up to 100 microgrammes of PM10 have been measured within a single cubic metre of air in the area. Those particles, though lesser in volume, can still pass into the lungs and cause the above symptoms.
Sensitive groups in these areas are urged to reduce outdoor physical activity if they feel symptoms, and consider closing windows when inside. But no changes to activity are advised for everyone else in those areas.
The Pilliga Forest bushfire has already ravaged more than 112,000ha, and is burning in a southerly and southeasterly direction and into farmland, with a current perimeter of 280km.
The blaze created its own weather system overnight, the pyro-cumulonimbus cloud system generating a thunderstorm in the southeast and causing erratic fire behaviour, NSW RFS said.