News & Media

Hazelwood Mine Fire-Hazmat Event

By: Euan Ferguson

  11.00 AM 25 February, 2014

Views: 2980

CFA continue to have a large number of resources on the frontline and in support roles at the Hazelwood open cut mine. The emphasis remains on safety, adherence to the health monitoring process in place, the health and welfare of local communities and the prevention of lateral fire spread in the coal batters. There are currently around 200 CFA and MFB firefighters, 80 mine staff, 30 incident management team personnel and nine medical monitoring personnel involved. There was increased fire activity overnight with some spot-overs causing grass fires outside the mine. These were extinguished quickly and effectively. Specialist mine personnel overseeing the use of water report that it is currently within acceptable operating limits.

Levels of smoke in and around the Latrobe Valley vary depending on the weather. The Morwell area is feeling the most serious effects when there are light south-westerly winds or no winds to disperse the smoke. Air quality is being monitored by the EPA, emergency services and Hazmat technicians. Both fine particles and carbon monoxide are measured as indicators of the impact of smoke on local air quality. Monitoring will continue over the coming weeks to minimise any risks to communities and firefighters. Smoke haze in the valley is expected to continue for some time.

A Community Health Assessment Centre opened today at the Ambulance Victoria Gippsland Regional Office to provide information about the health impacts and offers basic health assessments. CFA and other agencies continue to keep the community informed over the coming days and weeks. Information will continue to be dropped in letterboxes in the southern part of Morwell and other key locations, available at CFA's static information bus in Elgin Street Morwell and through mobile education unit visits throughout the day in the area. A respite centre at Moe Town Hall is open daily from 9am to 7pm.

A range of information is available through multiple avenues:

For community information venues, locations and times call VBIL on 1800 240 667 or Latrobe City Council on 1300 367 700.


Statewide Situation - Other fires of Significance
Around the rest of the State there are three significant going bushfires in East Gippsland and a grass and scrub fire in Werona. It is positive and pleasing to note that management of the Yallourn mine fire has been handed back to local control. Victorian emergency services will continue to provide support.

Last Updated: 10 December 2015