Current issues

East Victoria fires

Update 18 March 2019

Air quality outlook

EPA advises that smoke from fires burning in the North East, South East and Gippsland is affecting air quality across Victoria’s North East.

Air quality is improving this afternoon in the North East, however, smoky conditions will return overnight and early morning due to the low winds in the North East and North Region.

Due to the light southerly winds over central parts of Victoria and south easterly winds over Gippsland, there may be increased smoke in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Yarra ranges and West Gippsland.

Air quality in Benalla and Wangaratta and the surrounding North East Region is rated UNHEALTHY ALL - Everyone should reduce prolonged or heavy physical activity.  

Air quality in the Northern Regions around Shepparton and Seymour is rated UNHEALTHY SENSITIVE - People over 65, children 14 years and younger, pregnant women and those with existing heart or lung conditions should reduce prolonged or heavy physical activity.

Anyone with a heart or lung condition should take their medication as prescribed by their doctor.

People with asthma should follow their asthma management plan.

Anyone with concerns about their health should seek medical advice or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24

While air quality in Gippsland and the Yarra ranges has improved, there are still some periodic smoke impacts which are likely to continue over the next few days.

EPA has deployed additional air monitoring equipment to Benalla, Bunyip, Pakenham, Maffra, Bairnsdale, Woori Yallock and Warburton to monitor smoke impacts from the fires. Access the information from these air monitoring stations

Check and to keep up to date with air quality and emergency warnings in your area when planning your weekend activities.

Air quality updates are also available on

For information on air quality and other EPA Emergency related information, visit

For information on smoke and your health, visit

Recovery and clean up information

To help Victorians in the east recover from bushfires, the Victorian Government has waived the landfill levy. For assistance cleaning up your property, please contact your council for further information.

For information on disposing of waste after a bushfire, please visit

If you’ve got a water tank and live in an area impacted by smoke from bushfires, we recommend that you disconnect your downpipes before the next rain. This avoids ash from the roof entering your tank and potentially contaminating your water. For more information, see this
fact sheet on ash and water tanks

Residents with any questions are encouraged to call EPA’s 24-hour contact line, on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

Page last updated on 4 Oct 2019