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Over the spring and summer of 2019/20, catastrophic bushfires devastated huge areas across several States.
Thirty four people were killed. The fires burnt an estimated 18.6 million hectares (186,000 square kilometres) and destroyed over 5,900 buildings including 2,779 homes.*
Many communities, towns and cities were severely affected by bushfire smoke over many days.
The smoke caused an estimated 445 deaths and put more than 4,000 people in hospital.*
*Evidence to 2020 Royal Commission.
More generally, smoke from fuel reduction burning is a problem during autumn and spring.
Authoritative, expert advice on the effects of bushfire smoke and whether or not it is safe to exercise (including bushwalking) under such conditions can be found here:
- Australian Government Department of Health: Health alert: bushfires and smoke
- Victorian Department of Health: Health concerns related to Victorian bushfires
- Victoria EPA: Bushfire smoke and your health
- NSW Department of Health: Bushfire response and recovery – Air quality
- NSW EPA: Hazard Reduction Smoke (PDF)