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Media Releases

Response continues for south west fires

21 March 2018

More than 70 firefighters worked through the night to continue response work on the south west fires, with another 130 on deck today, Wednesday 21 March.  

Colac Incident Control Centre Incident Controller, Les Vearing, said good progress was made overnight to continue strengthening containment lines and making the area safe for return.  

"Today we will continue to focus on strategies to extinguish the peat fires burning and manage the smoke they are producing. We are utilising thermal imaging cameras to determine the extent of the peat fires.  

"We now have a water hydraulics expert on deck in our team assisting us to develop options for the peat fires. 

"EPA's air monitoring systems are now in place to undertake regular air quality assessments for the Cobden and Camperdown areas. People can access this information via the EPA website.

"EPA are also providing advice to landholders on what to do with farm waste, including spoilt milk and deceased livestock.  

"Agriculture Victoria have been working hard with 11 field teams visiting properties to assess losses and provide information and assistance to farmers to meet their needs.  

"Any farmers with affected livestock can contact Agriculture Victoria on 5336 6721 who will be able to assist. 

"We are working closely with local council who are doing a wonderful job on their local recovery plans.  

"We remind everyone about the community meeting being held today at 1pm at the Cobden Civic Hall. The meeting will provide a full picture of what is happening with all relevant parties in attendance to answer any questions

people may have.  

"DHHS will be on site who can provide support services and information about how to access hardship payments," said Incident Controller Les Vearing.

To access up to date information and warnings visit and for relief and recovery information, including hardship payments, visit