The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued a stern warning for most of the state, urging those with respiratory conditions such as asthma to stay inside where possible, use reliever medication and seek medical help if needed.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on November 19, 2019

Sydney, the most populous city in Australia, currently has the worst air pollution in the world, beating out Kolkata in India. The scenic harbour city of five million people currently has air pollution 20 times worse than Beijing and Jakarta.

Strong winds brought smoke overnight from a blaze in Wollemi National Park, 150km (93 miles) north-west of the city, pushing Sydney’s air quality to beyond “hazardous” levels, NSW Health said.

The bushfires have created hazardous air conditions, with particle levels in the air likely to cause issues for anyone with breathing difficulties.

Sydney’s east, northwest slopes and parts of the southwest are choking through hazardous levels while other parts of the state are struggling through very poor ratings, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Sydney smoke

The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued a stern warning for most of the state, urging those with respiratory conditions such as asthma to stay inside where possible, use reliever medication and seek medical help if needed.

There are concerns 56 fires burning across New South Wales (NSW) could flare up and total fire bans have been declared in multiple regions. The fire in Wollemi National Park has grown to 150,000 hectares in size.

Bushfires in NSW last week killed six people and destroyed 577 homes. The fires have burnt through 1.6 million hectares of land.

Officials have warned that blazes could escalate this week when heatwave conditions reach the state and neighbouring Queensland, where scores of fires are burning.

Meanwhile, a “catastrophic” fire danger warning has been issued for parts of South Australia. The state capital, Adelaide, is forecast to reach 42C on Wednesday.

A DC10 air tanker has been drafted in from North America to help drop up to 38,000 litres of water and retardant on blazes and efforts will be bolstered by help from New Zealand firefighters, NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott announced.

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