Don’t ignore asthma as grassfire escalates in Flowerdale

7 Feb 2023

The National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) today issued a warning for local residents with asthma in the Flowerdale region, as the warning for grassfires across Yea intensified.

Debbie Rigby, Clinical Executive Lead at the National Asthma Council Australia, said local residents with asthma or hay fever need to be extra vigilant.

“People near the Flowerdale grassfire areas who have been exposed to prolonged smoke and haze need to watch out for extra asthma and allergy risks.

“Smoke from fires can increase air pollution and can affect your health, so if you or your child start to have any breathing problems, coughing or chest tightness, make sure you act quickly and seek professional help to stop it turning into an asthma attack.

“Asthma is too dangerous to ignore and coupled with stress and anxiety it could trigger dangerous flare-ups for people with asthma,” said Ms Rigby.

Extreme weather conditions and the forecast return of high temperatures this week could see the spread of more grassfires affecting homes in Yea area.

“Hot dry air and dust from grassfires can cause asthma symptoms to flare-up and people in high risk areas need to make sure they pack their asthma medication and asthma action plan in their emergency evacuation kit.

‘If you’ve lost your written asthma action plan or need one for the first time, your GP can work with you to set out a personal plan that factors in the effects of grassfire smoke,” Ms Rigby said.

Anyone with asthma living in a high-risk grassfire zone should include asthma management in their fire safety survival plan:

• Take your preventer inhaler as prescribed. This is the best way to stop your asthma from getting worse and will provide at least some protection from grassfire smoke.

• Ensure you have an up-to-date Written Asthma Action Plan from your GP and know what to do if your asthma worsens 

• Keep your reliever (blue puffer) handy at all times

• Make sure you have plenty of asthma medication available to you

• If you decide to evacuate, take your asthma inhalers and other medications with you

If asthma symptoms occur, don’t delay:

• Follow your Written Asthma Action Plan

• If you don't have an action plan, take four separate puffs of a blue/grey reliever

• If symptoms persist or are getting worse, follow the steps in First Aid for Asthma

Visit the National Asthma Council’s website for tips on how to look after your asthma or allergies and download the Bushfires and Asthma Fact Sheet.

For further information or an interview with a NAC spokesperson contact: 

Donna Le Page, Le Page PR

Mobile: 0429 825 703   Email:

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