Special projects monitoring - Live air quality data

UPDATE: New South Wales is now reporting hourly averages for PM10 and PM2.5. Further information.

View the latest air quality index (AQI) and concentration values for data collected from special monitoring projects.

When it’s smoky, everyone should:

  • Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and your asthma management plan if you have one. Keep your medication close at hand. Consult your doctor if symptoms worsen.
  • Reduce or avoid vigorous outdoor activity see activity guide below.
  • Spend more time indoors. Keep doors and windows shut to keep the smoke out. Open windows and doors whenever the smoke clears.
  • Spend time in air conditioned venues like cinemas, libraries and shopping centres.
  • Avoid indoor sources of air pollution like cigarettes, candles and incense sticks.​​​​​

If your child has diagnosed asthma:

  • Have an up to date Asthma Action Plan​. Seek review with your child’s GP to assess their current asthma management.
  • Check your child’s reliever medication and spacer is up-to-date and accessible by a responsible adult.
  • Provide written asthma first aid instructions, completed by your child’s GP, to their preschool, childcare centre or school.
  • Visit the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network’s Aiming for Asthma Improvement in Children​ website which includes a Good asthma control checklist​.

Information for sensitive groups

Some people may be more sensitive to air pollution. Sensitive groups include people with lung disease or heart disease, children, older adults, pregnant women.

Anyone with persistent symptoms should seek medical advice or call Health Direct Australia on 1800 022 222

What activity can I do?

Colour ​indicator What activities can I do
Very good
Enjoy normal activities.
Enjoy normal activities.

People unusually sensitive to air pollution should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

Others are not likely to be affected when the AQI is in this range.


Sensitive groups should reduce strenuous outdoor activities.

Other adults are not likely to be affected. Anyone who experiences symptoms should reduce outdoor activities.

Very poor

Sensitive groups should avoid strenuous outdoor activities

Other adults should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.


Sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor activities.

Other adults should avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

  • Bushfire emergency monitoring is being undertaken at the following locations across NSW, using a series of temporary incident air quality monitoring instruments: Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Lismore , Grafton,  Taree, Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Merimbula, Cooma
  • Air quality across NSW may be affected by extensive smoke from bushfires:
  • Visibility (Vis or NEPH) is a good indicator for smoke. If the Visibility AQI is “Poor” or worse, then there is likely to be significant smoke outside. If Visibility is “Fair” (yellow), there could be some impact due to smoke. While visibility is also affected by dust, the instrument is more sensitive to smoke.

Bushfire smoke can affect people's health and it is important for everyone to reduce exposure.

Find out about:

  • protecting yourself from bushfire smoke
  • returning home safely
  • medications and prescriptions
  • support services
  • illness and injury from bushfire
  • information for child care centres and parents
  • advice for general practitioners

Visit Health NSW - Bushfire

Learn about air quality information, what Air Quality Index values are and how they are calculated.

Understanding Air Quality Data

The Katoomba Air Quality Monitoring Station is part of the Blue Mountains and Lithgow Air Watch Project led by NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Blue Mountains and Lithgow Air Watch is a temporary (12-month) project initiated by the local community to measure ambient air quality in the Blue Mountains and Lithgow. The project started in May 2019 and will conclude in May 2020.

As part of this project, 12 low-cost air quality (KOALA) sensors developed by Queensland University of Technology have been deployed at locations selected by community representatives. The use of KOALA sensors provides a cost effective and easy-to-operate way of observing air pollution trends across the Blue Mountains and Lithgow areas.

KOALA sensors used in this project do not comply with Australian Standards and only provide indicative measurements of PM10, PM2.5 and carbon monoxide. Current data from the KOALA sensors can be found on the KOALA webpage. Note that this website works best on the Chrome browser.

Further information regarding the Blue Mountains and Lithgow Air Watch Project can be found on the EPA's webpage.

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