A reality of living in Australia that I hadn’t considered is a smoky atmosphere from planned back burning or hazard reduction burns.

Tonight is the second consecutive evening of a smoke haze across Hobart city and suburbs. We can smell the smoke and visibility is reduced.

A smoke alert has been issued for the burn off of more than 300 hectares this evening. Traffic warnings are in place and a health warning has been issued for people with respiratory conditions.

The Environment Protection Authority air quality rating shows the particle concentration in and around Hobart has reached nearly 190. On a clear day it is just 5.

Planned burns are a necessity as there is concern about bush fire risk in the coming summer season. Tasmania has seen a dry winter and farmers are worried about their crops. The rainfall in Hobart during October was the lowest for twenty years with only 14.4 mm compared to the average of 61.3 mm for the month.

October also saw the highest mean daily maximum temperature for one hundred and thirty three years, at 19.7°C, two point seven degrees above the average.

So, I’ll put up with the smoke every now and again in the hope that we have a safe summer.

The view this evening, compared to the usual view.