South-west fires March 2018

The fires in south-west Victoria have impacted our region greatly and our thoughts go out to those who have been affected.

Thank you to all of the emergency services personnel, organisations, volunteers and community members who continue to work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.

Relief and recovery support

As part of the relief and recovery stage Wannon Water is reaching out to all of our rural customers within the fire area to provide support. Wannon Water is offering assistance to rural customers where their property has been directly affected by the recent fires.

To find out what support is available please read our assistance for rural customers affected by the recent fires flyer.

For further information, or to discuss assistance that Wannon Water is able to provide, please contact us on 1300 926 666.

Fires and your water supply (Wannon Water)

During this fire period, Wannon Water has been able to maintain all water supplies and water quality to customers.

If your property has been impacted by the fires and you have an urgent service fault please call us anytime on 1300 926 666.

For all other water related enquiries or requests please contact us during business hours (8.15am – 5pm) and they will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Fires and water tanks (non-Wannon Water)

If your area is affected by bushfires, your private water source (non-Wannon Water) could become contaminated from debris, ash, fire retardants or dead animals.

Also, you should not source water from a creek that has been affected by bushfire as the water may be contaminated.

Water drawn from deep bores or wells should still be safe to use. If you suspect contamination, use an alternative water supply for drinking and food preparation.

Here’s some safety information on bushfire and water tanks.

For more information read the Department of Health’s guide - Your private drinking water supply.

What do I do if my livestock are affected by fire? (Information provided by the Department of Health & Human Services)

Farmers wishing to report livestock impacted by fires will be given highest priority and should call 03 5336 6721.

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is advising farmers with dead stock in the wake of Victoria’s bushfires to dispose of them to landfill, as their first and best option. EPA understands it’s a difficult time for farming families affected by the fires, and is offering advice intended to minimise the burden and help to protect their farms from additional after effects of the fires. 

Where stock can’t be moved to landfill, they should be buried at the site in accordance with EPA's Farm Waste Management publication. Information on disposing of carcasses is also available on the central Agriculture Victoria website. When disposing of numbers of dead stock on the farm, there are important safeguards the landowner will need to consider, to protect your ground and surface water sources from contamination, and yourself and your neighbours from odour and possible health hazards. Landowners with any questions can also call EPA’s 24 hour contact line, on 1300 372 842.

What do I do with spoilt milk supplies? (Information provided by the Department of Health & Human Services)

There’s a variety of effective ways to dispose of spoilt milk on the farm, after power outages in bushfire affected areas. While small volumes of milk can be discharged direct to effluent ponds, it is not the preferred disposal option as it can lead to future odour problems.

On-farm disposal via irrigation, trenching or disposal on non-productive areas of land are all possible, provided there are no off-site impacts.  The best option needs to be considered for each site using the guidance available from EPA and Agriculture Victoria. EPA understands that farmers are dealing with a very difficult time and will work with those affected in any way they can.

Dairy farmers can get advice on how to dispose of spoilt milk by contacting EPA’s 24 hour contact line, on 1300 372 842 or go to the Agriculture Victoria website.

Emergency information

For current incidents and warnings information please visit the Vic Emergency website.

Relief and recovery information

For current relief and recovery information please visit the Vic Emergency website.

Local information

For more information about the south-west fires in your area, please visit your local government website listed below:

Road closures

Many roads are closed around the cluster of fires in south-west of the state. Check the VicRoads website for further information.