Updated health statement on Queensland bush fires

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has withdrawn the whole-of-community smoke warning but has urged people to remain vigilant while fires continue to burn across the state.

While there are still a number of active bushfires across Queensland, air quality has improved enough for health authorities to withdraw the formal alert issued earlier this week.

“We saw two days of widespread, smoke-affected, very poor quality air levels,” Dr Young said.

“We’ve now seen two days of impacted but improved air quality.

“In general, air quality across the state has improved and we are withdrawing the whole-of-community warning. The amount of smoke in the atmosphere has reduced substantially.”

But Dr Young said Queenslanders, particularly the elderly, children and people with pre-existing health conditions, needed to continue taking precautions to protect their health.

Those most at risk are people with asthma or respiratory conditions.

“It’s better but we’re still not quite back to the crisp, clear Queensland air we’re used to,” she said.

“People should continue to use common sense. If there are fires in your region and there is a lot of visible smoke you should reduce the amount of strenuous activity you are undertaking outside.

“It’s still especially important for vulnerable people to remain vigilant. The advice for them has not changed.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles thanked Queenslanders for their vigilance and heeding the advice of authorities.

“It has been a tragic and trying time for several communities across Queensland and our hearts go out to anyone who has been affected by fires,” he said.

“This updated advice is in relation to the quality of air, not the threat of fire. There are still many communities on tenterhooks.

“We know from past experience how quickly conditions can change so everyone still needs to continue taking care of themselves, their family, friends and neighbours.”

Live air data for Queensland is available through the Department of Environment and Science website: https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/air-quality/.

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