Health warning over bushfires in Western Australia

13:34, December 15, 2009      

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A blanket of smoke over Perth caused by bushfires in Western Australia's (WA) south has prompted health warnings.

Department of Health Environmental Health director Jim Dodds on Tuesday advised people should take extra care to avoid exposure to the smoke.

"Exposure to smoke from fires can worsen asthma and other respiratory conditions, cause coughing and shortness of breath and irritate the eyes, nose and throat," Dodds said.

"People are advised to remain indoors as much as possible, limit physical exertion and keep doors and windows closed.

"People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and young children should take particular care and are encouraged to monitor their health."

Firefighters are battling two blazes, including one in the Walpole wilderness area on WA's south coast which has burnt 3,000 hectares and is expected to burn 10,000 ha by the time it is contained.

The Walpole blaze started in a remote part of the wilderness area on Sunday after escaping from an area subject to prescribed burns last week.

Source: Xinhua
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