Smoke, dust warning as state burns

QUEENSLAND Health has issued a warning for people with respiratory conditions to take precautions to limit exposure to smoke and dust being whipped up by bushfires and strong winds in the state's south.

Acting Chief Health Officer Sonya Bennett urged people with asthma or other respiratory diseases to stay indoors with windows closed, avoid vigorous exercise and follow their prescribed treatment plans.

Smoke near the rural town of Canungra in the Scenic Rim region of Queensland. Queensland Health is warning about smoke and dust amid bushfires and high winds. Picture: Regi Varghese, AAP
Smoke near the rural town of Canungra in the Scenic Rim region of Queensland. Queensland Health is warning about smoke and dust amid bushfires and high winds. Picture: Regi Varghese, AAP

"Airconditioned environments can provide protection," Dr Bennett said. "It you have an air conditioner at home, turn it on and if applicable, use them in a recirculate mode.

"If your car is airconditioned, reduce the amount of dust entering your car by switching the air intake to recirculate."

Dr Bennett said in the event of an adverse reaction to the dust or smoke, such as shortness of breath, prolonged coughing or wheezing, people should seek medical advice.

She also urged Queenslanders to exhibit extra caution when driving as dust storms and bushfire smoke would reduce visibility.

After the wind abates and smoke from bushfires clears, Dr Bennett said people should be careful when cleaning dust from homes.

"Use water to wipe it away because sweeping and dusting will just stir it up again," she said.