Coal mine fire will take two weeks to snuff out

Hazelwood Power Station is ramping back up to full capacity after a fire at the nearby coal mine halted supply earlier this week.

Bushfires had cut the power to a coal mine that feeds the power station, forcing it to reduce its power generation by three-quarters.

However power has been restored, with six of the station’s eight units now running.

The remaining units are expected to be operational over the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the fire at Hazelwood coal mine is still burning

Hazelwood owner GDF Suez Australian Energy told Australian Mining the blaze is in an area some distance from its normal coal operations, with the fire burning within containment lines.

The fire is expected to burn for another two weeks.

"It's the coal that's on fire and coal is like a briquette," the spokesperson said.

"You can drop a bucket of water over it. It looks like the fire is out and it will come back as a smouldering fire. So it will take some time before we can really extinguish it."

At least seven firefighters have been treated after being exposed to carbon monoxide whilst fighting the fire.

Crews have been removed from the coal pit and are now working on the edges of the blaze.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley says their blood carbon monoxide levels are monitored before going underground, during breaks and the end of the shift.

"The safety of all firefighters is always the highest priority, and operations have temporarily relocated from within the mine, but will continue from the edge," he said.

He said people fighting the fire were required to wear the appropirate PPE and air quality monitors.


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