People with health issues urged to watch symptoms as 'irritant smoke' billows from South Auckland blaze

People with pre-existing conditions, like asthma or chronic bronchitis, are being urged to watch for worsening symptoms if they're nearby a large scrap car fire burning in South Auckland.

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David Sinclair urged anyone in the area with existing health conditions, like asthma or chronic bronchitis, to watch for worsening symptoms. Source: 1 NEWS

The fire at Global Metal Solutions on Hunua Road, Papakura, was reported to Fire and Emergency New Zealand just after 8am today.

A large plume of black smoke was seen rising from the fire, which is believed to have begun in a stack of scrapped vehicles.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service medical officer of health David Sinclair has warned people to avoid the area if they can, or to stay in doors as the material burning includes upholstery, tyres and oils.

"It's producing a pretty irritant smoke which is going across parts of Papakura," he told 1 NEWS.

"The most toxic things will be plastics, oils and tyres. If they burn they're producing quite toxic smoke.

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The smoke from the fire on Hunua Road could be seen across a large part of Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

"What we expect is that people will smell the smoke, they may get some irritation of the eyes and the nose and throat and get some coughing.

"People who've got existing chest conditions, asthma or chronic bronchitis, might find that their symptoms get worse and if so we would advise them to call either their GP or Healthline for advice and maybe get some treatment for that."

Sinclair said people in the area are advised to remain indoors with windows and doors closed if they can see or smell the smoke. As well, people are urged to turn ventilation systems off or turn on recycled air until the smoke has passed.

"As the smoke clears, if people are getting irritant symptoms that should go within a few hours but certainly if people do have those underlying chest complaints or other related problems that may last for a day or two but if that's the case they should be talking with their GP."