Monday, October 21, 2013
The state of New South Wales in Australia has declared a state of emergency due to massive bushfires. The fires began last week and subsided somewhat over the weekend due to weather, but the fires persist in the Blue Mountains and other wooded areas outside of Sydney.
Authorities do not believe that the fires themselves pose a threat to Sydney, but there are concerns about smoke and low air quality because of the fires.
IFSA-Butler's resident director in Australia, Christi Hoover, has been in contact with all of our students in Sydney and has issued the following safety recommendations:
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- Consult the health center at your university if you have a respiratory condition such as asthma.
- Obey all fire safety rules in Sydney: Dispose of cigarettes safely and appropriately and only after fully extinguishing them. Remember there is a complete fire ban!
- Avoid travel to the bushfire areas such as the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands or Mount Victoria. If you do have any local rural trips planned and are unsure if they are in affected areas, please check first or confirm with your SSC.
- Watch your university's student news bulletins to see if there are any tips or advisories offered.
Students in Australia are welcome to contact Christi or our staff in Sydney with any questions or concerns, and our U.S. office is also happy to answer questions about this situation. We will update our Australia students and their parents as necessary.
For more information:
Christi Hoover, Australia Resident Director
Sydney Morning Herald