Bushfires have caused very poor air quality in Indi communities.

Smoke can lead to a sore throat, shortness of breath, dehydration, fatigue and more serious effects.

Health authorities have authorised the release from the National Medical Stockpile of 450,000 P2 and N95 face masks to help frontline emergency workers and those at risk.

These masks are on their way to North East communities and will be distributed through relief centres to vulnerable people, including those over 65, pregnant women, children under 14 years and those with heart and lung conditions.

To reduce the impact of smoke you should:- stay indoors- avoid all outdoor physical activity- drink lots of water- continue to take your medications for heart and lung conditions, and- activate your asthma management plan.

You may wish to consider relocating outside your smoke-affected area while it persists.

If you experience wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing call 000.

If you are concerned about your health seek medical advice or call Nurse-on-call on 1300 606 024.

You can find information about the air quality at your location at www.epa.vic.gov.au/EPAAirWatch

Emergency Victoria also provides air quality updates at http://www.emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/ or via the VicEmergency app.

For information about financial relief, shelter and livestock aid, go to Bushfire help.