25 January 2016
For the second time in 10 days Victorians are being urged not call Triple Zero if they smell smoke in the air, with a plume from northern and western Tasmania drifting over Victoria.
State Response Controller Peter Rau said Victorians should only call the emergency line if they see flames or a solid column of smoke rising from the ground.
“Dozens of fires burning in Tasmania, combined with southerly winds have caused smoke to blow across Bass Strait and into Victoria,” he said.
“There may be a strong smell of smoke over Gippsland, Melbourne and Central Victoria this afternoon.”
“It’s vital Triple Zero is not tied up dealing with calls about smoke and is available for life threatening emergencies.”
For any incidents in Victoria, Mr Rau urged Victorians to monitor www.emergency.vic.gov.au, listen to emergency broadcasters and download the FireReady App.
Victoria was helping to coordinate the deployment of more than 130 firefighters and incident management personnel from NSW, ACT and Queensland to Tasmania.
A band of lightning sparked dozens of fires across the West Coast and northern parts of Tasmania a fortnight ago.
“The Tasmanian fires will burn for some time which means it’s likely smoke will continue to be an issue over coming days and weeks,” Mr Rau said.
He urged those with breathing difficulties to take steps to avoid the smoke and to call Nurse on Call 1300 60 60 24 for advice on managing symptoms.
For more information on current incidents in Victoria, visit www.emergency.vic.gov.au and follow VicEmergency on Facebookand Twitter. Fire information is also available through the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.