More residents set to evacuate as Coolaroo fire continues to burn

Melbourne Fire

Melbourne Fire

An evacuation warning issued at 1:35am said: "It is strongly recommended that you evacuate now if you are located in Dallas".

Forty-one people attended a relief centre, which was opened at the Aquatic Leisure Centre in Broadmeadows. They were told to stay indoors, close all exterior doors, windows and vents and turn off all heating and cooling systems.

Residents in the surrounding suburbs of Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, the rest of Dallas, Fawkney, Glenroy, Jacana and Westmeadows were issued with a "watch and act" warning.

The fire broke out at the recycling facility before 9am on Thursday.

It is the third time the plant has caught fire this year.

Incident controller Mark Swiney said there were about 115 households that had been advised to evacuate, but it was hard to know how many people were affected.

"The air quality in the warning area is hazardous as a result of smoke from the fire located in Maffra Street".

But firefighters have so far been unable to get the blaze under control, admitting it could take as long as three days to extinguish.

Ken Brown, acting deputy chief fire officer of the MFB, said analysis by a drone had revealed the fire was more complex than first thought due to rubbish being stacked 4 to 5 meters high.

"It's a very deep-seated fire. It's a limited space area so that makes it hard to manoeuvre stuff around".

Over 40 people spent the night at a neighborhood swimming pool after the country's Environment Protection Authority noted air quality deterioration, reported Australian broadcaster ABC.

Four people have so far been treated for respiratory problems associated with the fumes, said Ambulance Victoria, with one man being taken to Northern Hospital and another to Royal Melbourne Hospital for treatment.

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