Melbourne has started the day with hazardous air pollution as smoke from bushfires in Victoria’s east and in NSW drifts through the state.

The CBD recorded hazardous levels of fine particles in the air from 12am to 4am and has since been categorised as very poor by the Environmental Protection Authority.

Air quality forecasts for Geelong, Latrobe Valley, Melbourne, central region, all of Gippsland and the north-central region are all listed as hazardous for Tuesday by the EPA.

The air will be very poor in the northeast and poor in the northern country.

Firefighters have spent the night being called out to fire alarms triggered by the smoke haze.

The MFB said on a normal night crews would attend about 20 false alarms, but overnight they were called out to about 200, but each had to be treated as a potential fire.

Those with heart and respiratory issues are being told to keep out of the smoke, but even healthy people are being warned to stay inside.


The fires burning through Victoria’s east and northeast have claimed four men’s lives, 353 homes and 548 other structures.

Sixteen fires are still burning and 1.4 million hectares has been destroyed across the state.

Slightly calmer weather forecast is allowing firefighters to try to build containment lines, while military personnel are working to make isolated towns accessible by road.

© AAP 2020