Follow our rolling coverage here on the current bushfire situation.
As a number of fires continue to blaze across the Mid North Coast the North Coast Public Health Unit is advising Port Macquarie-Hastings residents to take health precautions this weekend as air quality continues to be affected by thick bushfire smoke.
Fine smoke particles affect the human respiratory system and can aggravate existing chronic health conditions by penetrating deep into the lungs and entering the blood system.
Acting director of the North Coast Public Health Unit, Greg Bell, said the particles can cause various health problems such as itchy or burning eyes, throat and nose irritation and illnesses such as bronchitis.
"We urge people with chronic respiratory or cardiac conditions to be aware of the health effects of exposure to bushfire smoke and to take steps to protect their health," Mr Bell said.
"Smoke exposure can lead people with lung disease or chronic bronchitis to develop shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, many days after smoke is inhaled.
"We recommend these people closely monitor their symptoms and follow their asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) action plan."
The smoke remains a concern for people across the Port Macquarie region as firefighters continue to battle some of the most severe fire conditions we have seen on the Mid-North Coast for 20 years.
The "dynamic situation" is a combination of extremely dry conditions, the number of bushfires - particularly to the west and north-west - and prevailing weather conditions.
Health officials are urging people sensitive to smoke should limit their exposure to the smoke, where possible, and consider going to air-conditioned buildings such shopping centres and libraries, or temporarily spending time away from the affected area until conditions improve.
Where possible, stay indoors until the air clears and avoid strenuous exercise or heavy outdoor work.
"Symptoms can occur for several days after smoke is inhaled, so people with chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions need to be vigilant with their own medication or treatment programs," he said.
"If symptoms do not settle, contact your doctor."
Healthy adults may also feel the effects of fine particles that can irritate the lungs, but generally any symptoms will clear after the smoke disappears.
In the event of an emergency, always remember to dial Triple Zero (000).
Also making news:
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.