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In an emergency
Call 000 if you're in immediate danger.
Call 000 if anyone is experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
Emergency updates and contacts
VicEmergency informs Victorians of emergencies in real time. It also has information to help you:
- prepare and get ready
- recover, including returning home and cleaning up after an emergency.
Get updates from the VicEmergency:
- Twitter or Facebook
- app – download from the App Store or Google Play
- hotline – call 1800 226 226.
For those who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment, call VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
Follow EPA Victoria on Twitter for our updates.
Air quality information is available at EPA AirWatch.
For health concerns, including any symptoms caused by smoke:
Fire emergency information
If there is a fire in your area, safety is your priority. Listen to advice from these emergency services:
- Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) – covers Melbourne CBD and suburbs
- Country Fire Authority (CFA) – covers rural and country Victoria
- Victoria Police
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Know how to protect your health in a fire incident:
- What to do in the event of bushfire: smoke and your health
- Protecting your health when it's smoky outside (publication 1677).
EPA’s role in an emergency
We're a technical support agency. When there is a major pollution event, we:
- provide technical and scientific information and advice to emergency and recovery services
- provide sampling and monitoring during emergency events
- deploy incident air monitoring equipment at emergency services’ request
- report and give advice on the environmental impacts and health risks associated with pollution and waste (such as smoke, and poor water quality).
- Fact sheet: incident air monitoring (publication 1726)
- How EPA supports emergency response agencies during air pollution incidents
- Air monitoring during major pollution events
How smoke affects you depends on:
- your age
- pre-existing medical conditions, for example asthma, heart disease
- the length of time you are exposed to smoke.
People more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke are:
- those with heart or lung conditions (including asthma)
- pregnant women
- people over 65.
Organisations responsible for public health
Find out about the roles of these organisations protecting and promoting public health and wellbeing.
Includes languages other than English:
- Smoke and your health (publication 1743)
- Incident air monitoring (publication 1726)
- Smoke and portable indoor air cleaners (publication 1809)
- Smoke and carbon monoxide from peat fires (publication 1831)
- After a fire: asbestos hazards (publication 1719)
- After a fire: cleaning up a smoke-affected home (publication 1711)
- Fire-impacted septic systems (publication 1811)
- Disposal of bushfire waste (including perished stock) (publication 1738)
- Fact sheet: ash (publication 1724)
- Ash from copper chrome arsenate (CCA) treated timber (publication 1720)
- Fire retardants and health (publication 1721)
- Firewater run-off (publication 1722)
- Industrial fires (publication 1723)
- Bushfires and recreational water quality (publication 1817)
Reviewed 18 September 2020