Prescribed burning smoke hazardous to the vulnerable - Institute for Respiratory Health

Prescribed burning smoke hazardous to the vulnerable

Wednesday, April 05, 2023 | News

The Institute for Respiratory health is urging the elderly, young and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma and emphysema to take extra care to avoid exposure to smoke caused by prescribed burns across the Sawyers Valley locality.

Prescribed burn warning areas:

  • Sawyers Valley and Mount Helena and surrounding suburbs in the Shire of Mundaring. Smoke is coming from a Parks and Wildlife prescribed burn in the area.

“Smoke can cause an issue with breathing for vulnerable people. It can aggravate existing lung conditions and cause irritated eyes, coughing and shortness of breath,” said Professor Yuben Moodley, Deputy Director of the Institute for Respiratory Health.

“People considered at risk people should remain indoors and avoid inhalation of smoke. They should also shut all doors and windows.

“Those with a lung condition that is unstable or symptomatic should take extra precautions and contact their doctor if their condition worsens.”

Professor Yuben Moodley said symptoms can occur for several days after smoke is inhaled, so people with chronic respiratory conditions need to be vigilant with their treatment programs.

He also advises to:

  • Keep windows and vents closed when driving in smoky areas.
  • Limit outdoors exercise, or avoid it completely. Especially if you can smell smoke or notice eye or throat irritation.
  • Only use air conditioners that circulate indoor air. DO NOT use evaporative air conditioners or air conditioners that draw in air from the outside.
  • Use respiratory protection – if you must venture outside wear a P1 or P2/N95 face mask that has a tight seal around the mouth and nose can can filter airborne contaminants.
  • Keep hydrated – drink plenty of water.

Anyone with an urgent smoke-related health condition should seek medical attention by contacting their doctor, or by dialling 000.