Visit VicEmergency for incidents and warnings.
Visit VicTraffic for road closure information.
Read the Premier's media release.
Latest advice – Saturday 11 January 2020
- No one should be travelling to the bushfire affected areas in East Gippsland, Upper Murray or the Alpine areas.
- Conditions can change quickly, so it’s important to follow the directions of emergency services at all times.
- Keep up to date on road closures at the VicTraffic website and app.
- Smoke from nearby fires has the potential to reduce visibility and poses a hazard, especially at night and in low-lying areas.
- Motorists should use their headlights on low-beam to make sure they can see and be seen, even during the day.
- Windows should be closed and air-conditioning set to recirculation to reduce the smell of smoke inside the car.
- Drivers should increase the space between themselves and the vehicle in front to allow safe braking distance.
- If visibility deteriorates and it becomes unsafe to continue driving, motorists should pull over. The use of hazard lights and parking off the roadway will help avoid collisions, which are common during bushfires.
- We’re working as part of a statewide response to protect the safety of Victorians during this unprecedented emergency – and the management of roads in fire affected areas is a vital part of that.
- We’re working closely with agencies like the CFA, DELWP and the Australian Defence Force to create multi-agency teams dedicated to quickly clearing fire affected roads to get them reopened as quickly as possible.
- As soon as the road has been deemed safe to enter by the Incident Control Centre (ICC) (who have assessed the fire-safety risk), the first job is to assess the roadside trees and vegetation to ascertain what may need to be removed, and if there is any risk posed to crews by falling trees and debris (this is led by DELWP).
- Once teams are allowed to enter the road, they carefully assess the road to make sure it’s free from fallen branches and other debris, and that there is no pavement or structural damage that might make it unsafe to use. In addition to clearing the roads of hazards, crews are also repairing and replacing signs and guideposts that are needed to ensure safe operation of the road, and to guide people safely given the limited visibility due to smoke in the area.
- Fires can impact road surfaces, major structures like bridges and safety barriers and smaller structures like culverts, signs, guide posts and drainage. It can also impact retaining wall structures and in steep terrain potentially cause landslips where trees are fallen or burnt and have reduced stability.
- In some cases, extreme heat and fire can cause the road surface to become brittle and crack or become slippery which is unsafe for drivers.
- There is no set timeframe for when each road will be reopened – each road will be assessed on a case by case basis and will only be reopened under the direction of the ICC and when it is safe to do so.
- Providing road access to properties and communities is a priority and that is why we will open roads as soon as possible. This may mean implementing temporary safety measures such as slower speeds.
- If the road to your property is closed, it is because it hasn’t yet been declared safe. We recommend you visit your local relief centre until the road reopens.
- Our agencies are working tirelessly to protect the safety of Victorians – and the management of roads in fire affected areas is a vital part of that.
- Once allowed to enter, teams move quickly to inspect and clear fire affected roads to get them reopened as soon as possible.
- Fires can cause significant damage to roads and hazards such as unstable trees and debris need to be removed.