Treating bushfire burns

Treating bushfire burns


DURING a bushfire, if someone gets burnt, follow these First Aid tips on what to do:

  1. Stop the burning process. Cool the area with water.
  2. Assess airway and breathing immediately. Wherever possible remove jewellery, watches and clothing from the burnt area. DO NOT-peel off clothing stuck to the burn, use ice or ice water, break blisters or use ointments, creams or powders.
  3. Where possible elevate the limb to reduce swelling.
  4. Cover the area lightly with a non-stick dressing.
  5. Seek medical attention.

Treating smoke inhalation

Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death among those who get caught in fires.


Dizziness and confusion

Nausea or vomiting

Visible signs of ash and smoke around the mouth and nos

Grey or black saliva

Chest pain or tightness


Irregular breathing

Wheezing, shortness of breath or hoarse voice

Blurred vision

Numbness or tingling in the extremities

Burns inside the mouth, throat or nose


Get the person to safety and into fresh air if it is safe for you to do so. Filter the smoke for both you and the casualty with a mask or cloth.

If someone is showing the above symptoms you should call 000.

If conscious, sit the person down or lay them on their side.

If alert, ask the person whether they have any medical conditions.

If they are not breathing perform CPR.

Ensure the person seeks medical attention to be assessed for more serious health implications. If left untreated, severe smoke inhalation can be fatal due to complications.


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