Type Status Location Last Updated
This message now contains new information about the tap water in Buchan.

The Watch and Act message issued earlier today (Tuesday) for Buchan South has been downgraded to an Advice message and this Advice message is being re-issued to include Buchan South.

This message is for Buchan, Buchan South, Butchers Ridge, Gelantipy, Murrindal, Nowa Nowa, Suggan Buggan, Sunny Point, Timbarra, Tostaree, W Tree, Wairewa, Wulgulmerang
 and replaces the Advice message published at 2:35 pm  Tuesday. 

  • The large bushfires in the Buchan Valley area are not yet under control.
  • Smoke is limiting visibility and increasingly stock and wildlife are present on roads. Please turn on headlights, drive to conditions and do not bypass road closures.
  • Wildlife crews are in the area responding to animal welfare issues.
  • Smoke is affecting air quality; current information about air quality in your area is available at EPA AirWatch.

East Gippsland Water have confirmed the tap water in Buchan is now safe to drink and use as normal. Please flush taps for 2 mins before drinking. More information: https://bit.ly/2QvsIuf  

  • The township of Buchan has been impacted directly by fire. The threat of further fire impact within the town is now decreased. 
  • Local brigades will continue to monitor and respond as required.
Buchan South and Timbarra communities
    • South west of Buchan South a control line is being established along the fire perimeter in the vicinity of Old Quire Road. 
    •  Firefighters are continuing work to protect the communication tower at Mt Johnson.
    Murrindal  and W Tree communities
    • Firefighters are closely monitoring active fire in the forest east of Murrindal as it moves downhill towards the private property.
    • Firefighters are burning out small unburnt patches of forest along the Gelantipy Road north of Murrindal to secure safe access for road users.
    Wulgulmerang and Suggan Buggan
    • A large active uncontrolled fire continues to burn 14 km north west of Suggan Buggan around the Cobberas.
    • Fire is also active 6 km west of Wulgulmerang in the Forlorn Hope area.
    • When conditions are suitable firefighters are planning to backburn west and north west of Wulgulmerang off the private property boundary.
    • Heavy machinery is being used to protect houses, sheds and other community assets in Suggan Buggan.
    Nowa Nowa
    • Firefighters have successfully controlled fire directly north of the Nowa Nowa community.
There is currently no threat to communities, but you should continue to stay informed and monitor conditions.
What you should do: 
  • Monitor warnings so you can act quickly if the situation changes. 
Impacts in your area: 
Roads and traffic
  • Emergency vehicles and heavy machinery are increasing traffic in the area.
  • The Bruthen-Nowa Nowa Road is open.
  • The Bruthen-Buchan Road from Red Knob to Wulgulerang is open to local residents and business operators with proof of residence.
  • The Gelantipy Road north of Wulgulmerang is open to emergency vehicles only.
  • The Great Alpine Road is open to local residents between Bruthen and Omeo. This road is closed north of Omeo due to fire activity.
  • Do not bypass road blocks, many roads in the area have been crossed by the fire and are now blocked by fallen trees. Burnt trees will continue to fall across these roads for the coming days It is not safe to drive on these roads as trees may fall at any time.
  • Check the VicTraffic website (traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au/) or call 13 11 70 for road closures.

This message was issued by Forest Fire Management Victoria.

The next update is expected by 15/01/2020 05:20 pm or as the situation changes.

For more information read this Community Newsletter

Relief Centres
  • Bairnsdale Football Pavilion, 40 MacArthur Street, Bairnsdale
  • The Bairnsdale Relief Centre has a range of facilities and services available including: meals, showers, temporary accommodation, first aid, medical advice and free WiFi.  There is also space for caravans, camper vans and tents.  
  • East Gippsland Shire Customer Service Centre is located at 24 Service Street, Bairnsdale.  There is a representative from the Insurance Council to assist affected property owners with their insurance claims.
  • Recovery Hotline 1800 100 298
Livestock Welfare Concerns
  • If you are concerned or need advice about livestock you should contact Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226.
  • For stock disposal enquiries please contact the East Gippsland Shire
  • VFF are accepting fodder donations and coordinating requests call 1300 882 833
For information and assistance about wildlife welfare phone local DELWP crew 5152 0400.

Health information:
  • If you need medical advice for burns or exposure to smoke, seek medical advice or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
  • Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call Triple Zero (000).
  • For information about bushfire smoke and your health to this EPA site
If you can see or smell smoke, please note: 
  • Smoke can affect people's health.
  • People with heart or lung conditions (including asthma), children, pregnant women and older people are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke.
  • People with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma) should follow the treatment plan advised by the doctor.
Use multiple sources to stay informed: 
The following services can help you, or someone you know, access information during an emergency.