Department of Health

Bushfires have the potential to cause a number of environmental health concerns beyond the immediate damage caused by the fire.

The Victorian Bushfire Information Line provides information during and after major bushfire incidents. It also offers information to help householders, landowners and small businesses reduce bushfire risk.

For more information and factsheets, see Our role in emergencies.

The department and Environment Protection AuthorityExternal Link (EPA) have important roles in environmental public health and promoting improved community health and wellbeing.

Smoke from fires and public health

EPA's responsibilities

EPA is responsible for managing impacts from past, present and potential future waste and pollution events. In particular, the EPA provides information, advice and warnings about the impacts of smoke from fires (industrial, planned burns or bushfires) on the environment and community health.

Visit EPA's smokeExternal Link webpage for more information about smoke and how to protect your health.

Department of Health responsibilities

The Department of Health is responsible for managing environmental health queries that are not related to pollution or waste. This includes radiation safety, food safety, drinking water safety, communicable diseases, extreme heat, and climate change health impacts.

Visit the Environmental Health page for more information.

Community cleaner air spaces – guidance for local government

People most at risk from smoke exposure include those with existing heart or lung conditions including asthma, children (up to 14 years), adults over 65 years, pregnant women, smokers and outdoor workers.

Supporting people when air quality is heavily impacted by bushfire smoke - Guidance for local government provides information to assist local government environmental health officers, building engineers and emergency management professionals in planning for temporary cleaner (and cooler) air spaces for community respite when outdoor air is heavily impacted by bushfire smoke.

Planned burns

Forest Fire Management Victoria works to keep communities safe year-round by reducing the risk of bushfires across the state. For information on planned burns near you visit the Planned BurnsExternal Link webpage, including the option to be notified when a planned burn is close to being ignited. This includes information on Smoke – how to deal with smoke in bushfire situationsExternal Link .

Community factsheets

Reviewed 20 May 2024


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