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Smoke smothers Sydney from planned burns in ‘favourable conditions’

Smoke from hazard reduction burns settled over Sydney on Thursday afternoon, leading to poor air quality readings in parts of the city, and a forecast of “fair” for the metropolitan region on Friday.

Planned burns were scheduled from Thursday over 16 hectares around Little Congwong Beach in La Perouse, south of the CBD, and almost seven hectares at Grotto Point, near Balgowlah, on the northern side of Sydney Harbour.

Smoke over Sydney from Dover Heights in the eastern suburbs.

Smoke over Sydney from Dover Heights in the eastern suburbs.Credit:Edwina Pickles

“Hazard reduction work across NSW, including burns in Sydney’s east and northern beaches, continue while conditions remain favourable,” the NSW Rural Fire Service said on Thursday afternoon.

“Localised smoke may be experienced. Please only call triple zero to report unattended fires.”

The burns are planned by land managers, including the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The burn at Little Congwong Beach, La Perouse near Little Bay.

The burn at Little Congwong Beach, La Perouse near Little Bay. Credit:Louise Kennerley

Fire and Rescue NSW said regarding the burns near Little Bay and Balgowlah, “prevailing NNE [north north-east] winds will possibly push the smoke from these burns into parts of metropolitan Sydney”.

The air quality reading for Rozelle, in the inner west, dropped from “good” to “fair” between 2pm and 3pm, and to “very poor” by 5pm, due to fine particle (PM2.5) levels which can come from forest fires.

The smoke haze from Balmain. Air quality levels neighbouring Rozelle dropped to poor on Thursday afternoon.

The smoke haze from Balmain. Air quality levels neighbouring Rozelle dropped to poor on Thursday afternoon. Credit:Kate Geraghty

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