Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is calling on private landowners and people with wood burning heaters to check the weather conditions before burning off because of low winds forecast this weekend for the Melbourne and Latrobe Valley areas.
“When winds are light, smoke from burn offs and wood heaters can remain in the atmosphere because there is little to no wind to disperse it. Eventually, the smoke can fall back over the area contributing to poor air quality,” said EPA Principal Air Quality Specialist Paul Torre.
“EPA is asking people to incorporate weather forecasting before they light their fires. We anticipate low winds again over Melbourne and Latrobe Valley in the next few days and urge them to hold off until winds pick up enough to disperse the smoke they create.”
Mr Torre said EPA published air quality data live on its EPA AirWatch website.
“But if you can smell smoke, that’s the time to take any health measures, especially if your household includes people with pre-existing conditions (including asthma), children, pregnant women or older people, Mr Torre said.
“People with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma) should follow the treatment plan advised by their doctor.”
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