Public health warning following North Canterbury fires

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jan 19, 2024 |

A public health warning has been issued because of smoke from the fires located on Racecourse Road in Amberley and on Loburn Whiterock Road near Loburn.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Matt Reid said “air around these locations is smoky and there is potential that people who are sensitive to smoke – such as those with heart or lung conditions, pregnant women, young children and the elderly – may experience symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or eye, nose and throat irritation.

“Exposure to smoke can worsen pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, heart disease and lung disease.

“People affected by the smoke should close windows and doors and reduce outdoor exercise.”

The experience of being exposed to an event like a fire can be distressing and it’s normal to feel anxious in situations like this. If you are feeling anxious or just need someone to talk to, you can call or text 1737 any time and you can speak to (or text) a trained counsellor free of charge or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

If you see or smell smoke outside, you should stay inside if it is safe to do so.

Remember to:

·           Keep your windows and doors shut.

·           Switch your air conditioning to ‘recirculate’.

·           Air out your house when the smoke clears.

·           Look out for children, older people, and others at risk.

·           Keep pets inside with clean water and food. Keep pets’ bedding inside if possible.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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