Perth blanketed in smoke haze again

The Perth skyline on Wednesday morning.
The Perth skyline on Wednesday morning.

Perth has been blanketed by a smoke haze for the second morning this week, as controlled burns continue in the Hills.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has issued a smoke alert for Perth metropolitan area and surrounding suburbs.

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Benson Todd, from the Department, said there are three main factors which combine to determine whether a smoke haze will affect the metropolitan area.

These are the amount of smoke produced by the burn, the prevailing wind direction and strengths, plus the atmospheric conditions, such as humidity.

“They all come together to determine how much smoke there is, where it goes and how long it hangs around for,” Mr Todd said.

“We do understand that our burns at this time of year are going to generate a lot of smoke and it is inevitable that some of that smoke will impact the city and the suburbs.

“We’ve got pretty light winds forecast for the rest of this week.

“The south westerly influence should certainly move the smoke out of the city and east.

“Conditions like this morning: we had a light easterly wind overnight and that’s just allowing the smoke to come back in over the coastal plain and it hangs around until that south westerly pushes in.”

The smoke is expected to clear mid-morning today.

Mr Todd said prescribed burning was necessary in order to reduce the amount of fuel that could burn during the height of summer.

“There will be smoke from the bush burning,” he said.

“It’s a matter of us trying to choose the time of year as opposed to having it chosen for us.”

WHAT TO DO:  

If the smoke is particularly thick, it is recommended people shut doors and windows and turn off air-conditioners.

Smoke may reduce visibility on some roads and motorists should take care, turn on headlights and travel at appropriate speeds when travelling in these areas.

People with asthma and pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses should follow their pre-prepared treatment plan.

People with conditions exacerbated by smoke should take precautions in line with their medical advice for these circumstances.