'The smell's horrible': Gold Coast wakes to thick smoke haze
A blanket of thick smoke descended on the Gold Coast this morning due to hazard reduction burning in the region’s north-west.
Photos taken by the 9NEWS chopper show the haze lingering over houses from the hinterland to the coast and licking the city’s skyscrapers.
Planned burns by fire authorities have been underway at Tallai and Nerang National Park since yesterday.
Emergency department consultant Dr Louisa Saunders said there’d been an increase in presentations to Gold Coast University Hospital as a result, with about 40 people presenting with respiratory issues including 12 asthmatics.
“Predominantly it’s chronic respiratory diseases but also young children with asthma and babies with bronchial issues,” she said.
Symptoms include breathing difficulties, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness, pain or discomfort.
“What we suggest is stay away from the smoke if possible, stay indoors, keep the air conditioning on rather than open the windows… keep medications by your side.
“As long as you can actually breathe it’s fine. If you can’t come and see us.”
Tourists who spoke to 9NEWS in Surfers Paradise this morning admitted the smoke was unpleasant but weren’t about to let it ruin their holiday.
“It’s not nice, it’s a bit unexpected… it’s been beautiful up until this,” said one father out for a walk with his young family on the last day of their holiday. “The smell’s horrible, it’s pretty thick.”
“It doesn’t spoil the great location, you guys are very lucky to live here hey, it’s an awesome spot,” another man said.
Brisbane, Redlands and parts of the Sunshine Coast are also expected to be hit by haze later today with hazard reduction burns scheduled in Alderley and further north at North Pine Dam, Narangba, Parklands, Coochin Creek, and Cooloola.
More burns are planned into next week in Brisbane, likely at Chermside West and Burbank, as authorities take advantage of dry weather conditions.
Visit qfes.qld.gov.au for more information.