When large wildfires occur, public health units are involved if public health may be put at risk.
The purpose of these guidelines are to assist a public health response to wildfires. Wildfires produce large amounts of smoke that disperses widely and can affect populations far from the source of the fire. These guidelines describe air quality categories, provide information on how to minimise smoke exposure, and identifies other hazardous associated with wildfires.
Experiences and lessons learned from past wildfires within New Zealand and Australia and have been incorporated into the development of this document.
These guidelines do not replace the Response to Major Fires Guidelines which will be amended for use on fires in built environments. These guidelines also do not replace hazardous substance incident protocols that have developed by a public health unit for use in its own region.