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 contact information

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.

Receive VicEmergency updates via:

Follow EPA Victoria on Twitter for EPA updates.

Air quality information is available at EPA AirWatch.

For health concerns, seek medical advice or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24. This includes any symptoms as a result of exposure to smoke.

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.

For help with English, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on free call 131 450.


Includes languages other than English:

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).

Protecting and promoting human health

Find out about the roles of the organisations protecting and promoting public health and wellbeing:

Fire emergency

If there is a fire in your area, safety is your priority. Listen to advice from these emergency services:

Know how to protect your health in a fire incident:

Air monitoring

EPA AirWatch is a map showing air quality information. Air quality is measured at monitoring stations around Victoria and is updated hourly. Find out how to use EPA AirWatch.

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)
  • children
  • pregnant women
  • people over 65.

Read more about fire and air monitoring

Effects of smoke

Smoke and your health (publication 1743) 

Incident air monitoring (publication 1726)

After a fire: asbestos hazards (publication 1719.1)

After a fire: cleaning up a smoke-affected home (publication 1711)

Ash (publication 1724)

Ash and water tanks (publication 1725)

Ash from copper chrome arsenate (CCA) treated timber (publication 1720)

Disposal of bushfire waste (publication 1738)

Fire retardants and health (publication 1721)

Firewater run-off (publication 1722)

Industrial fires (publication 1723) 

Reviewed 12 November 2019