Sydney Is So Smoky Today That The Haze Set Off Fire Alarms, Here’s What You Need To Know

sydney smoke haze

If you’ve woken up feeling like you’ve just inhaled a cloud of smoke, that’s because you probably have — but it’s okay, you don’t have to panic and frantically google “Sydney bushfire” like I did. The blankets of haze that have shrouded Sydney are the result of hazard reduction burns to combat the upcoming bushfire season, though that doesn’t make the smoke any better to inhale.

The reduction burns were scheduled for last week, but they had to be delayed due to the rain.

Instead, they were carried out this weekend, which has left the air so smoggy that people’s smoke alarms have been popping off — and the haze is expected to linger for several days.

In fact, the smoke has been so yucky that the air quality in multiple parts of Sydney has been degraded to “poor or worse”.

The NSW Department of the Environment has since issued a bunch of warnings to the public about how we should look after ourselves if we breathe too much of the stuff in.

First and foremost, keep your windows and doors shut so your home doesn’t get too smokey.

Air purifiers, if you have one, may also be helpful at maintaining the air quality in your home — though some folks online have claimed theirs haven’t made much of a difference. Either way, being inside is better than being outside.

People who have asthma have been advised to keep their preventers on stand-by, and people with heart or lung diseases, older adults, children, and pregnant women may also be particularly vulnerable to feeling ill because of the smoke.

The department also advised people to stay indoors, preferably in air conditioned spaces (tell that to my landlord), and suggested people avoid any rigorous outdoor activity.

If you are going outside though, please note that standard facemasks don’t really do anything to protect you from smoke inhalation. P2/N95 face masks do, however, they’re also kind of hard to breathe in, which may defeat the purpose for some people.

You can check out the NSW Government’s full advice on how to protect yourself from smoke here. In the meantime, stay safe folks!

Image: Nine