The smoke seems to be getting to people.
Areas where lots of Canberrans normally run were virtually deserted as joggers opted for an easier - perhaps safer - office lunchtime.
One walker wore a mask. Most stayed indoors to avoid the pall of smog hanging over the city.
Walker Julie Chen had bought an ill-fitting mask at a pharmacy. "I read a message from ACT Health that it's better to stay inside and close the window but I just wanted to go for a walk."
She said that there were several people wearing masks on the bus into the city centre from Tuggeranong on Monday morning.
Solitary runner, Lachlan Paton, padded the hot concrete. He said his run was better than sitting in the office, though his colleagues had stuck to their desks.
Ms Chen was right and wrong on the medical advice - right that staying in was good but wrong on the mask: the advice is that you don't need one but if you feel you really must get one, get a good one.
Surgical masks or paper ones which don't seal completely around the mouth and nose aren't effective. For that, you need one that is "P2 rated".
The best medical advice is to take it easy.
"While these smokey conditions are continuing across Canberra, ACT Health advises that all Canberrans should limit physical and strenuous activity outdoors and people that are particularly sensitive to smoke should avoid all physical activities outdoors," ACT Health's Dr Vanessa Johnston said.
The particularly vulnerable are "young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with pre-existing chronic heart and lung conditions".
Schools had been told to keep children indoors where possible.
Parents were already calling for it. "When I take my kids to school, I ask the staff to keep them indoors when air pollution is very high," Sotiris Vardoulakis, Professor of Global Environmental Health at the ANU, said.
Comparisons between Canberra and Sydney and the world's most polluted cities didn't quite work. "Air quality in Beijing can be worse and it is sustained over longer periods. The difference is that bushfire smoke is seasonal," he said.
"But the seasons are getting longer because of global warming and we need to be concerned about that."
Cardiologist Dr Arnagretta Hunter of Canberra Hospital said that people with serious lung or heart conditions should avoid strenuous exercise and keep a close watch on their own condition, ideally with the help of a GP and family.
Heat plus smoke was doubly dangerous and temperatures were forecast to hit 38 on Tuesday and maximums of around 30 for the next week.
Bushfire smoke consists of tiny particles the size of the width of a hair on the head.
They are carcinogenic in a manner similar to cigarette smoke, according to Dr Hunter.
Breathing the air for a day in Canberra is like smoking five cigarettes - do it every day for a long time and it raises the risk of cancer significantly but for a few days there is not a large increase in danger.
But Dr Hunter said, "The health challenges of climate change will increase over the coming summer with long periods predicted of poor air quality, high temperatures and water shortages all a direct threat to health.
"There is a serious need for our politicians to pay attention to the major health challenge of climate change and how we might best reduce the risks."
Her political view was echoed by office worker Tariq Yussouf as he took a lunchtime stroll near the galleries on Lake Burley Griffin.
He grew up in the Bangladeshi capital where pollution contains seriously injurious chemicals.
"When I grew up in Dhaka, they used to have two-stroke engines all over the city," he said. The atmosphere was continuously poisonous.
All the same, he said he was keeping his kids indoors in Canberra.
And he said he could feel the Australian smoke in his throat. It was making breathing harder.