Australia fire smoke to hit New Zealand soon

WELLINGTON (Nov 13):  A New Zealand fire scientist said yesterday that more smoke from the catastrophic Australian bushfires is expected to hit New Zealand today and could damage health, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting local media.

As Australia braces for "the most dangerous bushfire week ever seen," the fire's smoke and dust are estimated to affect New Zealand 4,000 km across the Tasman Sea.

Fire scientist Grant Pearce told local media the fire is "causing red skies, amazing sunsets and eerie daytime light conditions."

There were also warnings that vulnerable people need to protect themselves.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research meteorologist Ben Noll said weather and air flows determined the time of the first smoke reaching New Zealand, which could reach the South Island early on Wednesday morning.

However, the strong winds predicted in New Zealand will help disperse smoke and dust and prevent further harm to people's respiratory system, Noll said.

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