The bushfire smoke blanketing Melbourne and much of Victoria is expected to persist for at least the first half of the week, and air pollution in the city is forecast to worsen to “very poor” and “hazardous” levels.
The smoke is also affecting air quality in Gippsland, North East, Alpine and Geelong regions, and is expected to fall to “hazardous” levels in the Latrobe Valley.
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said people may experience symptoms such as coughing and irritation of the nose, throat and eyes.
Vulnerable people — such as those aged under 14 or over 65, those with diabetes or heart/lung diseases and pregnant women, children 14 and under, and people over 65 years old — have been urged to minimise smoke exposure by staying indoors.
If they need to be outside, they should wear P2 or N25 masks, Dr Sutton said.
“We know it’s a threat to life for some people.”
Read more via ABC News