For months now smoke has been impacting on Coffs Harbour. Photo by Trevor Veale
For months now smoke has been impacting on Coffs Harbour. Photo by Trevor Veale

Air quality monitor installed in Coffs CBD

AS air quality reaches hazardous levels due to the bushfires crisis, a number of temporary monitors have been installed across the region including Coffs Harbour.

Monitors have also been installed at Taree, Grafton and Lismore. Port Macquarie already has a monitoring station.

The Coffs Harbour station is located in the city centre at Duke Street near Carralls Gully.

"This location was chosen in consultation with Coffs Harbour City Council, as a secure site with access to power," a representative from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) said.

The site (https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/air/current-air-quality) provides hourly air quality updates.

For months now smoke has been blanketing Coffs Harbour from massive fire clusters to the north, west and south/west.

The situation has prompted health warnings and led to disruptions at Coffs Harbour Airport and the cancellation of regular sporting matches.

NSW DPIE Director of Climate and Atmospheric Science Matthew Riley said the monitors provide up-to-date real time information.

 

Smoke from the fires at Coramba. Photo by Joy Dibley
Smoke from the fires at Coramba. Photo by Joy Dibley

"These areas normally have some of the best air quality in the world," Mr Riley said.

"Unfortunately, the severe bushfires in these regions and the unprecedented fire season we are dealing with has resulted in ongoing air quality issues from the smoke and dust.

"These temporary monitors will ensure people and health services in those areas can get the information they need to make important decisions on providing health care advice for the community or for individuals implementing their own health plans."

There are approximately 90 stations across the state.

NSW Government scientists will now be able to use the information gathered by these emergency monitors to build a more complete assessment of air quality across NSW during this emergency.

NSW Government scientists are also working with the NSW Rural Fire Service to understand wildfire conditions and the likelihood of smoke persisting, and the Bureau of Meteorology who give a broader outlook on winds and weather conditions that exacerbate air quality in New South Wales.

Information about air quality in NSW, including subscription to email and SMS alerts is available at Air program and health advice in relation to air quality is available at NSW Health.