Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) is urging anyone with a respiratory condition living in Palmerston North to be aware of the active fire currently burning on Keith Street.

Smoke from fires can worsen existing respiratory conditions and cause irritation to eyes, sore throats and coughing.

"Smoke is a major trigger for asthma, as it is effectively tiny particles entering the throat and lungs," says Joanna Turner, Research and Education Manager, ARFNZ.

"This can severely irritate those with respiratory illnesses like asthma, bronchitis, or COPD, with children and the elderly being among those most at risk of unexpected flare-ups."

Joanna says that the best thing people can do is to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed at both home and in the office, until the smoke clears. It's also best to avoid the area if possible.

"If you have a respiratory condition, ensure that you keep your respiratory medication nearby. If you are experiencing worsening symptoms or a flare-up of your respiratory condition, contact your GP as soon as possible."