Sydney totally covered in smoke

As smoke continues to blanket Sydney this morning due to a bushfire in the city's northwest, some today's air quality figures make for some worrying reading.

According to the NSW Government's figures, air quality has plummeted to "hazardous" levels in Sydney's north-west.

Some suburbs are seeing readings between 300-400 on the air quality index.

"Hazardous" particle readings are anything over 200. "Good" air quality is a rating below 66.

Rouse Hill is the most polluted area, with the visibility index at a massive rating of 1989 and fine particle pollution at 422.

The air quality is also "poor" to "hazardous" in parts of the city's east and south-west.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said smoke from an enormous bushfire burning in the Gospers Mountain was being blown across much of Sydney.

It says the smoke along the state's east coast is likely to begin clearing once the day warms up and winds increase.

However the smoke is not expected to completely clear and is likely to settle across the area once again this afternoon.

Here are some health precautions you should take in the meantime.

  • Residents are advised to stay indoors, with windows and doors closed, or stay in air conditioned premises, if possible.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise, especially if you have asthma or a lung condition.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a mask designed to filter fine particles. Use a mask rated either P1 or P2. These are available from hardware stores.
  • P2 masks are more effective in blocking the finest particles, however any mask has to be worn correctly over the nose and mouth to protect you.