Department of Health

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

EPA's responsibilities

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

DH responsibilities

The DH 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.

The State Smoke Framework

The State Smoke Framework outlines the arrangements for managing air quality from fires in Victoria.

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 .

Reviewed 06 May 2022


Contact details

Environmental Health Policy and Risk Management Unit

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