With planned burns occurring across Victoria over the Easter period, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has deployed incident air monitoring to help communities understand and respond to potential smoke in areas with fires over the Easter period.
Based on smoke modelling conducted by EPA scientists, air monitoring equipment has been deployed to Warburton, Healesville and Bright.
Modelling also shows it is possible there will be smoke impacts around Lorne to the south-west, across the Yarra Ranges to the north-east and in the Ovens area further to the north-east.
There will be fires in other parts of Victoria and people should remain vigilant.
Data collected by incident air monitors provides useful information about the impacts of a pollution event and is used to make decisions about what agencies do next. Data collected by some incident air monitors is also shown on EPA AirWatch which gives the latest air quality conditions and health advice.
If you can smell smoke, that’s the time to take any health measures, especially if your household includes people with pre-existing conditions (including asthma), children, pregnant women or older people.
People with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma) should follow the treatment plan advised by their doctor.
- If you need advice for exposure to smoke, seek medical advice or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
- Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call Triple Zero (000).
There’s more information on protecting your health in smoky conditions at www.epa.vic.gov.au/your-environment/air/smoke
You can find live air quality readings from EPA’s AirWatch network at www.epa.vic.gov.au/airwatch
For the latest warnings on bushfires and other emergencies, visit the Emergency Management Victoria website at https://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/
Planned burning involves lighting fires under carefully managed conditions to reduce the risk of bushfire.
Forest Fire Management Victoria and Parks Victoria undertake planned burning across Victoria, particularly on public land such as forests.
Forest Fire Management Victoria undertakes predictive modelling of any potential smoke impacts and can request that EPA deploy its incident response air monitoring equipment.
EPA can also provide information on air quality forecasting when requested.
The 10-day planned burn schedule is available here: https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/bushfire-fuel-and-risk-management/planned-burns
Commercial operations and businesses may also carry out this activity and need to apply for a permit; permits are provided by CFA and local councils.