Smoke covers Melbourne

Smoke covers Melbourne

14 February 2009

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Australia — Melbourne is shrouded in a smoke haze as bushfires continue burning across Victoria.

Visibility at Melbourne airport is down to 2km with the Bureau of Meteorology warning the haze could linger until the end of next week.

Check the latest fire news from the CFA

The Environment Protection Authority has issued a smoke warning, advising people with respiratory or heart conditions to take precautions.

EPA director of environmental services Bruce Dawson said that with predicted northeasterly winds, Melbourne would continue to be affected by smoke.

“We expect these conditions will continue into Sunday,” Mr Dawson said.

“We would advise residents to take sensible precautions.

“As always, those closest to the seat of the fires will continue to have reduced visibility and high smoke levels as firefighters work to bring the fires under control.”

Department of Human Services chief health officer Dr John Carnie advised those with respiratory or heart conditions, the elderly and children to limit prolonged or heavy exertion.

“Where possible this sector of the community should also limit the time they spend outdoors,” he said.

“Those with asthma should follow their asthma management plan, taking their medication as prescribed and paying attention to any symptoms.”

Dr Carnie said anyone concerned about their symptoms should seek medical advice.

Richard Carlyon, senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meterology, said northerly winds on Friday night had pushed the haze far out into Bass Strait, meaning today’s sotherlies were blowing the smoke back over the city rather than clearing it.

He said the settled conditions would keep the smoke hanging over the city probably until Friday.

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