Smoke haze blankets Perth and large part of Western Australia

Smoke haze blankets Perth and large part of Western Australia

05 January 2013

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Australia — West Australian health authorities are warning people with respiratory conditions to stay indoors as smoke blankets Perth and much of the state’s South West.

The smoke is from a bushfire that started in the Mount Roe National Park, just north of Denmark, more than 400 kilometres south of Perth on Friday.

A bushfire watch-and-act alert is in place for people in the western part of the Shire of Plantagenet, east of Clear Hills Road, south of Muir Highway and west of Pile and Springs roads.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife says there is still a possible threat to lives and homes while the fire remains uncontained and conditions are changing.

The blaze has burnt through 13,300 hectares and it is believed it may have been deliberately lit.

The department has also issued a smoke alert for areas from Walpole to as far away as Geraldton in the state’s Mid-West, nearly 1,000 kilometres north of the fire.

The alert also extends inland to Mount Barker and Toodyay.

The Department’s Director of Environmental Health Jim Dodds says people with respiratory conditions need to be vigilant.

“Today it’s a matter of if you do suffer from a pre-existing condition, try to avoid physical exercise outside, take breaks if you do need to do physical exersise and shelter inside with the doors shut if it does get uncomfortable for you,” he said.

Motorists are being warned that smoke may reduce visibility on some roads.

The smoke is expected to clear tomorrow.

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