When Warwick eyes are smarting
WARWICK eyes turned skywards yesterday afternoon as a large grey cloud of smoke drifted in from the west and come sunset caused the sky to turn a deep orange colour.
The smoke haze came from a controlled 6500ha burn just north of Inglewood, some 100 kilometres west of the Rose City.
A spokesman from the Department of Community Safety said the hazard reduction burn was being conducted in conjunction with Queensland Fire and Rescue and the Department of National Parks.
He said the burn started at 9am yesterday, along Inglewood Millmerran Rd and was expected to continue for a number of days.
"The burn is likely to cause a large smoke haze in the area, potentially extending to the Millmerran community," he said.
When the spokesman was informed the haze had reached Warwick he said it was difficult to predict just how far the smoke would travel.
"It depends on the wind and the change of direction of the wind," he said.
"Smoke does tend to travel quite a bit.
"It just depends on the weather as to the direction of it."
The spokesman warned Southern Downs residents with respiratory problems such as asthma to keep their medications close and keep all their doors and windows shut.
A fact sheet from the Queensland Health Department on how to stay safe in smoky conditions stated people with respiratory problems should avoid physical activity outdoors and keep away from the smoke as much as possible.
Those with asthma or other lung conditions should follow their asthma treatment plans.
As for how long the smoke was expected to hang around, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Amber Young said if the winds behaved as predicted and the fire continued to burn the smoke haze could stick around until at least Sunday.
"There were general westerly winds (yesterday)," she said.
"And they will mainly tend west to south westerly (today) and over the weekend.
"If the winds maintain their direction the smoke will keep up."
Ms Young said the westerlies combined with a cool air mass moving through would result in some cooler temperatures in Warwick and surrounding areas.
A minimum of 10 degrees was predicted for this morning.
Tomorrow will have an even colder start at seven degrees followed by six degrees on Sunday.
Ms Young said frosty conditions were not on this week's forecast but said there was a possibility of people living at higher locations getting their first frost on Sunday.
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How to stay safe in smoky conditions
- Minimise outdoor activity
- People with respiratory problems should attempt to avoid the smoke
- Keep doors and windows closed
- Anyone with a lung or heart condition should keep at least a week's worth of medication on hand.
- Those with asthma should follow their personal asthma treatment plan
- If you experience breathing problems or chest pain call 000 immediately