AUSTRALIA – Canberra has experienced its worst air quality on record, as bushfire smoke became trapped by atmospheric conditions and residents were told to stay indoors and brace for more smog in the coming days.
The ACT’s acting chief health officer, Dr Paul Dugdale, said the smoke was the worst since the 2003 bushfires and was “certainly the worst” since air quality monitoring started in the city 15 years ago. — The Guardian
According to The Guardian’s reporting, Air Quality Index (AQI) readings in Canberra city reached 3,463 on Wednesday afternoon, with readings above 200 considered to be hazardous.
According to reports, the fires have burned at least 14.6 million acres around the country so far with record high temperatures and atmospheric effects combining to make putting out the blazes nearly impossible. Estimates indicate that over half a billion animals have died in the brush fires around the country so far, while at least 17 people have perished, with thousands of structures burned to the ground as well.