Bathurst Regional Council in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is working to reduce the wood smoke in the Bathurst Region.
A few simple changes can reduce the amount of smoke in your local area:
- Have your chimney cleaned every year to remove creosote - a sticky black residue that can build up in your chimney. Creosote can restrict air flow causing a build up of smoke, and even catch fire, putting your home at risk.
- When lighting a cold heater, use plenty of newspaper and kindling to establish a good fire quickly - this will heat the chimney and increase air flow
- When refuelling your fire, open the air controls to full for 20 minutes after you have added the fuel.
- Think of logs as homes for animals and birds - leave the best hollow logs and trees for our wildlife.
What is wood smoke?
Wood smoke is a type of air pollution which may impact your health, especially if you have a heart or lung condition such as asthma.
Wood smoke is produced from burning solid fuel in a wood heater or open fireplace. Wood smoke contains a complex mixture of pollutants and toxins, mainly fine particles, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, xylene and formaldehyde.
A poorly operated wood heater or open fireplace can cause high levels of these pollutants around your home and neighbourhood. Modern heaters are designed with specific instructions to create more heat and less smoke, and this may be different to how you have used a wood heater or open fire in the past.
For more information about the health effects of wood smoke, click on the link below.
When wood smoke is a problem in your local area
When wood smoke is obvious to see or smell, it may cause problems for those with health concerns.
If you notice that wood smoke seems to make your asthma, heart or lung disease symptoms worse, stay inside and make sure you take any medication you need. Seek medical advice if your symptoms do not settle.
Avoid any outdoor physical activity.
It may be a particularly bad day for smoke, for example if there is no wind to bring fresh air to your local area. If you notice wood smoke constantly, it may be that a nearby heater is creating excessive smoke.
For more information about wood smoke, or to report a smokey chimney, contact Council's Environment Section on (02) 6333 6511.
For more information about firewood or wood smoke, click on the links below.