For details on the status of closed roads and the current situation, visit Vic Emergency.
If the road to your property is closed, we recommend you visit your local relief centre until the road reopens.
For the most up-to-date information on road closures in bushfire affected communities visit the VicTraffic website.
The road to recovery
With bushfires impacting over 900km of roads in Gippsland and North-Eastern Victoria, our number one priority is providing safe access for people to return to their homes and communities as soon as possible.
Bushfires damage roads in different ways. They can severely damage the road surface, compromise structures such as retaining walls and bridges, and destroy signs and line markings. In some cases, roads have been burned multiple times and fires can cause damage that might not be obvious.
Tens of thousands of trees have been burned. Arborists are individually assessing each tree, as any that could risk falling onto the road or vehicles will need to be removed.
Clearing and re-opening these roads requires a multi-agency effort. We’re working with DELWP Forest Fire Management, Parks Victoria, VicForests, and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to clear roads, then undertake emergency repairs to enable safe access for the community.
This work doesn’t stop until services are restored, roads are reopened and communities are reconnected.
Safe road access
In an emergency such as significant bushfires, road access is managed by an Incident Control Centre (ICC), set up to coordinate the emergency response.
Each road must be inspected to ensure it’s safe for all vehicles to travel on before being reopened under the direction of the ICC.
To ensure safety, different levels of access are put in place. This also gives critical access to emergency services and agencies to inspect and repair roads, deliver supplies and provide relief, as well as for local residents and business owners to reach their properties.
When a road has been affected by bushfire and closed, work is happening behind the scenes to safely restore access for the community.
Road access may be blocked by debris and hazardous trees, and the bushfire emergency may still be underway in some areas. The ICC may need to deploy powerful, heavy machinery to clear debris to allow access routes for emergency services.
Logging harvesters are then used to safely remove hazardous trees. In steep terrain, specialist tree-climbing arborists are required to remove hazardous trees by hand.
Once the road is cleared from dangerous trees and the fire danger has passed, our crews can enter the area to assess the damage and impact to the road. We then:
- clear any remaining debris from the roads
- repair the road surface where it has been damaged
- reinstate critical road safety infrastructure including guideposts, line marking and regulatory and warning signs
- assess the safety of critical infrastructure such as bridges, culverts and retaining walls.
We may reopen the road in stages with restrictions in place such as reduced speeds and lane closures, until all safety features are fully restored.
If it’s safe to do so, local residents, business owners and relief, recovery and supply services may be provided with authorised access to closed roads.
Residents may be required to pass through traffic management points and show proof of residence.
If you’re permitted to access restricted roads that aren’t open to the general public, please drive with caution. When travelling through the area remember to:
- drive slowly
- obey directions from emergency services personnel
- never drive around traffic management points – these roads are not safe for you to enter.
Once the road has been safely restored, we’ll reopen access to the community.
We’ll also reinstate public transport services across Eastern and North-Eastern Victoria as soon as we can.
For more information download our fact sheet on accessing roads impacted by bushfires.