Australia — The smoky haze lingering over Melbourne will continue most of this week, with autumn burn-offs continuing around the city fringe.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment had several burns planned, and the department said Melbourne residents could expect to see smoke around the city and suburbs until at least Thursday.
The Environment Protection Authority suspects the burning-off is partly responsible for air quality readings in the poor to very poor range from its suburban monitoring stations.
Melbourne’s air quality tumbled on Saturday, before clearing up a little on Sunday. But at 9am yesterday, every operating monitoring station was giving very poor results, except for Point Cook, which was poor.
By 1pm yesterday, only Brighton and Richmond were still reading very poor.
Regional DSE fire manager Bernard Barbetti said the stable weather was ideal for fuel reduction burns.
“We ask people to bear with us for the coming week as fire crews complete some major burns,” he said.
“We appreciate their tolerance and patience at this time.”
Smoke from a burn near Reefton in the Upper Yarra catchment will continue to drift across Melbourne, and new burns will be lit today and tomorrow in the Gembrook area.
The department said the smoke should clear on Thursday because it was expected winds would freshen and conditions for burning wouldn’t be suitable.
Melbourne hospitals and the ambulance service reported some cases of children and adults suffering respiratory distress, but the increase in numbers or severity was no more than usual during autumn.