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Melbourne weather: Why city has been blanketed with smoke, temperatures set to soar

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Why Melbourne has been blanketed with thick smoke with temperatures set to soar

  • Melbourne was blanketed by thick smoke clouds on Monday morning
  • Planned burns in the Yarra Ranges saw plumes of ash spread across the city 
  • Residents complained of heavy smells which triggered asthmatic reactions 

Melbourne residents woke to plumes of smoke choking their city on Monday with health warnings in place across the Victorian capital.

Residents posted images of the CBD shrouded in ash clouds, with areas in the city’s east reporting heavy smelling smoke.

Concerned calls prompted Victoria’s Country Fire Authority to post a series of messages on social media assuring locals the smoke was a result of planned burns in the Yarra Ranges at the weekend.

Melburnians woke on Monday to plumes of smoke covering the city, with its iconic Chapel Street barely visible (pictured)

Melburnians woke on Monday to plumes of smoke covering the city, with its iconic Chapel Street barely visible (pictured)

Residents of Melbourne’s northern suburbs all the way down to Ferntree Gully and Mount Evelyn saw huge blankets of smoke sweep over the area.

Images show Bourke Street in the city centre down to the iconic Chapel Street in the south barely visible as people started their Monday morning commute.

A Lilyfield resident took to Facebook saying the smoke had caused a severe health reaction and said more needed to be done to alert people of the burns.

‘This is not ok. This smoke entered my home triggering my asthma. 

‘The risk assessment for planned burning activities needs to include the detrimental health impacts on the whole of population.’

Further concerned calls forced the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to issue a message on the VicEmergencyApp at 9:30pm on Sunday night, with health warnings put in place for asthmatics and people hard of breathing. 

‘Smoke may be visible from nearby communities and roads, as there is a planned burn in Eastern Melbourne sending smoke across the city,’ the message read.

‘There is no immediate threat to the community and no action is required.’

A Lilyfield resident took to Facebook saying the smoke had caused a severe health reaction and said more needed to be done to alert people of the burns

A Lilyfield resident took to Facebook saying the smoke had caused a severe health reaction and said more needed to be done to alert people of the burns

The SES crew from Lilydale in Melbourne’s north-east posted a warning to Facebook that residents should be prepared 

The Lilydale SES said the smoke had come from planned burns in the Montrose/Mt Evelyn area.

‘Please take care of yourself, consider closing windows and having your reliever medications handy if you need them,’ the unit posted on Facebook.

‘Planned burns are important to keep fuel loads low, and it would seem the lower temperatures and change of wind direction has started moving the smoke Lilydale and Mooroolbark bound.’ 

People in Melbourne's northern suburbs all the way down to Ferntree Gully and Mount Evelyn saw huge blankets of smoke sweep over the area

People in Melbourne’s northern suburbs all the way down to Ferntree Gully and Mount Evelyn saw huge blankets of smoke sweep over the area

Forest Fire Management Victoria’s deputy chief Tamara Beckett said burns were now being carried out based on conditions rather than the time of year, which may see smoke plumes occur randomly.

She said wind speed, temperature and humidity were all things considered before planning the burns.

‘As long as the conditions allow and it is safe to do so, we will carry out as many of our high priority burns in bushfire prone areas as we can,’ Ms Beckett said.

‘We will undertake planned burns to reduce fire risk near communities, essential infrastructure and assets like water catchments, and ecological burns – particularly in the western grasslands – to help support rare and protected flora and fauna.’ 

The city will see max temperatures of 27 degrees on Monday with cloudy periods pushing towards a chance of a late shower.

Winds have been increasing across 24 hours, with gusts of up to 27km/h expected, which has helped push the ash plumes across the city. 

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