Community Update - Fire in Coolaroo



This an updated Advice message for Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Dallas, Fawkner, Glenroy, Hadfield.
  • The Fire remains under control. Emergency Services will continue to work on the fire at the Recycling Plant on Maffra Street in Coolaroo overnight.
  • Local MFB crews are being supported by specialist teams from South Australia and Australian Capital Territory. Other agencies assisting include Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria Police,  Ambulance Victoria, Hume City Council, Melbourne Water, Environment Protection Authority, Yarra Valley Water
  • There may be smoke visible in the area.
  • Due to low oxygen levels in nearby waterways a number of fish have died. Water authorities are aspirating the waterways to bring the levels back to an acceptable level.
  • E. Coli levels near the incident have been recorded above acceptable limits, however latest test today indicate they are reducing. Authorities are taking additional samples for testing and strategies are in place to manage the E. Coli levels. 
You should continue to stay informed and monitor conditions. 

As of 5pm, Tuesday 18 July, the Relief Centre at the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure has closed. The community will still be able to access any relevant assistance through Council by contacting 9205 2200 or by visiting our Broadmeadows office during business hours - 1079 Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows. Free health information and checks are also available at Dianella – Broadmeadows GP Super Clinic.

A Community Information Session will be held at the Hume Global Learning Centre, 1093 Pascoe Vale Road Broadmeadows, on Monday 24 July between 4pm and 7pm for local residents.  This will be a drop-in session to give members of the community an opportunity to ask questions. All relevant agencies will be in attendance to talk to the community. Tea and coffee will be available. 

 Smoke information:

  • Smoke can affect people's health
  • People with heart or lung conditions (including asthma), children, pregnant women and older people are more sensititve to the effects of breathing in smoke.
  • People with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma) should follow the treatment plan advised by their doctor.
  • Ash particles fall out of the smoke in locations near the fire. Ash is a fine powder that may be visible on surfaces.
  • Although too large to breathe into your lungs, ash particles may cause local irritation to the eyes, nose or throat. These health effects should resolve quickly. If not, call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024 or seek medical advice.
  • If you come into contact with ash, wash it off your hands, face and neck as needed. If ash gets in your eyes, gently wash out with clean water.

Read the Smoky Outside? Protect Your Health information issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. Available in various languages.

What you should do: 

  • The Recycling Plant remains closed and people are advised to avoid the area. 
  • If you are feeling the effects of smoke close your windows and doors, turn off air-conditioning and remain indoors. 

Impacts in your area:

  • Dead fish may be visible in nearby waterways due to low oxygen levels in the water.
  • Traffic management remains in place along Maffra near the incident. Heavy vehicles and emergency vehicles which are being allowed through.
  • Cars accessing business premises within the area are required to enter Maffra Street from end closest to their business.
  • Delivery drivers are allowed to access businesses within the controlled area.
  • There is no access to any other vehicles.  
  • Emergency Services and recovery crews remain in the area.  
  • Ash may be visible on surfaces. (refer to smoke information section) EPA is supporting MFB by providing air quality data from mobile air quality monitoring stations positioned in the immediate vicinity of the fire.
  • EPA continue to monitor the smoke to enable management of community health impacts during this incident.
  • Data from these stations is available at EPA's AirWatch website and is updated regularly and is expected to change throughout coming days. 

This message was issued by Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

Melbourne Water has advised that water from the fire has spilled into Merlynston Creek in the vicinity of Maffra Street, Coolaroo. The creek drains into the Jack Roper Reserve downstream. Signs are in place at Jack Roper Reserve advising of the closure and we recommend avoiding contact with the water at the reserve. Pets should also be prevented from entering or drinking the water.

Council’s garbage collection service will not operate in the affected streets within Dallas. Leave bins out as normal and they will be collected when the situation improves.

Health information:

The fire has now been controlled, but there may still be smoke in the area.

Smoke can affect people’s health. Where possible, avoid exposure to the smoke.

People with heart or lung conditions (including asthma), children, pregnant women and the elderly are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke.

If you are experiencing any symptom that may be due to smoke exposure, seek medical advice or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24.

Cleaning up your home:

If you arrive home and notice an odour or are concerned about the quality of the air in your house, ventilate your home by opening doors and windows.  If you smell smoke outside – do not ventilate your home.

You can inspect your house for any ash build up.  Ash particles fallout from smoke. Ash is a fine powder that may be visible on surfaces and after a fire like this is usually light  in colour. If present it should be easy to see on darker surfaces.  Although too large to breathe into your lungs, ash particles may irritate your eyes, nose or throat. These health effects should resolve quickly. If they don’t, call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 or seek medical advice.

- Using good hygiene practice – wipe down indoor surfaces with water. If a surface film is visible, wash with soap and water.

Prevent young children playing near any ash until the area is cleaned up.
– If any areas of ash deposits are identified, isolate these areas to prevent access and clean up  the area.   
If you come into contact with ash, wash it off your hands, face and neck as needed. If ash gets in your eyes, gently wash out with clean water.
Should I be worried about ash that is accumulating on down-lights or other areas? Could it be a fire hazard?

According to Energy Safe Victoria, downlights pose a fire risk if they become covered by insulation or ceiling debris (including dust or ash residue).

Do different roof types let in more ash and dust than others?

Yes. Open slat eves are likely to allow more dust into the ceiling cavity than sealed eaves. Tiled roofs, especially where the tiles are cracked or in a state of disrepair, allow more dust into the roof space due to the multiple joins where each separate tile connects. Metal roofs consist of large sheets of metal with fewer joins than tiled roofs, allowing less dust into the roof space. Reflective foil insulated roofs provide an additional barrier that may reduce dust load into the roof space.

What are the points of entry or modes of exposure to ash and dust inside buildings?
Points of entry for ash and dust into the inside spaces of a house include, but are not limited to:

· holes in the ceiling
· cornices that are cracked or missing with visible gaps into the roof space
· fans and vent points that are not sealed
· gaps in ceiling roses
· gaps in connections between flues and the ceiling.
· Openings around doors

Can I eat garden vegetables, fruit or herbs?
Always use common sense when deciding whether or not food is safe to eat. Vegetables, fruit or herbs should be washed in water prior to eating.
If you do not wish to eat the produce in your garden, affected vegetation can be washed and composted.
Rain water tanks

Will tank water be contaminated?

General advice from the Department of Health and Human Services is that if your tank water supply tastes, looks or smells unusual do not use it for drinking, bathing or for pets.
Your public water supply is safe to use for drinking and all other domestic uses.


Useful information


Road closures

VicEmergency Website

SES Website


Posted on 4:00 AM, 28 February 2017

Updated : 9:53 AM, 22 July 2017

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