Air in parts of Sydney as bad as smoking 34 cigarettes


Bushfires surrounding Sydney will again pollute parts of the city today, following on from another day of “poor” air quality yesterday.

The most highly polluted areas of Sydney, in the southwest, registered 680 PM2.5. yesterday, according to NSW Department of Environment data.

According to an app that compares pollution with smoking, that reading was the equivalent of 34 cigarettes if someone breathed in the air all day.

The Daily Telegraph has crunched the numbers for other parts of the state – showing that breathing air outside all day in the city’s east yesterday was similar to smoking 19 cigarettes, while Port Macquarie hit 17 ciggies a day and Lismore 20.

Sydney’s air quality is set to be ‘poor’ again today. Picture: Christian GillesSource:News Corp Australia

Today, firefighters are facing tough conditions while they battle fires around the state.

Warm, dry and windy weather is forecast for the state today, with total fire bans in place for the greater Hunter Region, the northern slopes region and northwestern NSW.

Fire danger ratings are very high along the NSW coast as well as in the southern and central ranges.

“Windy and generally dry conditions will result in elevated fire dangers across parts of NSW (on Wednesday),” the Bureau of Meteorology said. The State Government has again forecast “poor” air quality for parts of Sydney, with thick smoke settling in the city basin.

Lingering smoke could be “unhealthy for sensitive people and could cause symptoms, especially in people with heart or lung disease”, the state’s environment department said.

Air quality was “hazardous” in Sydney’s east and southwest on Tuesday but “good” in the northwest.

The smoke is coming from large bushfires in the Blue Mountains and others near Warragamba Dam and in the Hawkesbury area.

There were 111 fires burning across NSW on Tuesday evening, with 54 of these uncontained.

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers fight a bushfire encroaching on properties near Termeil on the Princes Highway between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue officers fight a bushfire encroaching on properties near Termeil on the Princes Highway between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla. Picture: AAP Image/Dean LewinsSource:AAP

The Currowan blaze near Batemans Bay has so far destroyed at least one home near Kioloa.

The fire reached coastal areas on Tuesday evening.

Damage assessment teams investigating the impact of the Currowan fire have so far been hampered by ongoing dangerous conditions.

“The fire has reached the coast in some areas,” the NSW Rural Fire Service said on Tuesday evening. “Firefighters and aircraft are working to protect homes where possible.”

The Currowan fire has burnt through more than 30,000 hectares. A second emergency alert was issued on Tuesday night for a bushfire burning near the northwestern outskirts of Sydney.

The 1800-hectare Three Mile fire is near the town of Wisemans Ferry and is close to the eastern boundary of the 220,000-hectare Gospers Mountain blaze. The emergency warning was downgraded to a watch-and-act alert later on Tuesday night.





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