The fires near Hazelwood power station.

The fires near Hazelwood power station. Photo: Wayne Taylor

The Victorian Coroner will be asked to launch an inquiry into whether the Hazelwood mine operator had sufficient fire-safety systems installed before the toxic blaze broke out, as claims surface that critical equipment had been removed.

The national firefighters union says it will lodge the application to the Coroner on Monday, seeking an investigation to "drill down" the causes and consequences of the mine fire disaster that is burning into its third week.

"Firefighters and the community are being put at an unnecessary risk," United Firefighers Union secretary Peter Marshall said.

"There should be an inquiry into what fire protection was there, and find out if it was operable and had been properly maintained."

The Coroner has the power to investigate non-fatal fires under the Coroners Act.

Mr Marshall said the Hazelwood fire, which has raised health fears for thousands of Morwell residents, shows the government's "failure" to learn from past lessons.

He said investigations into previous fires at Hazelwood and other mines in the state had not driven regulatory improvements.

"The real issues, in the cold light of day, should be properly investigated to find out how this one happened ... not an inquiry set up by a government that has a vested interest and is conflicted.

"If this government failed to do something right, then it is totally improper for it to look into itself."

Mr Marshall said questions examining any fault on behalf of mine operator GDF Suez or the Napthine government as the regulatory authority should be asked by the Coroner, "not by a mate of [Deputy Premier] Peter Ryan.

It comes as firefighters at Hazelwood say equipment such as water mains and sprinkler systems had been removed from the disused section of the mine.

They also said the mine had not been adequately rehabilitated with a top layer of clay and soil to reduce the risk of fire taking hold."

Moe South CFA captain Brendan Jenkins said sprinklers and mains had "clearly been ripped out" and there had not been thorough rehabilitation.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said the government would ensure there was an independent inquiry that would "deal with all the questions being asked", but did not say who would be charged with the task.

He said "the focus at the moment is to put this blasted fire out".

Opposition energy and resources spokeswoman Lily D'Ambrosio called for a "broad, transparent and frank" inquiry, that was independent of the Napthine government.

"And they really need to be open about what the regulatory requirements were on the mine owners and open about whether the mine owners complied.

"One thing we're seeing is a great frustration and anxiety built up in the Morwell community because the Napthine government has failed to respond in a timely fashion and provide enough information."

Ms D'Ambrosio said a critical term of an inquiry would be asking what measures the government had in place to make sure GDF Suez adhered to its fire-protection commitments.

"Something went terribly wrong at Hazelwood that day that allowed the fire in the disused part of the mine to get out of control. We need to drill down to that level, we need honest answers and for the full story to be told."

At a media briefing outside the CFA control centre on Saturday, several firefighters waved placards and demanded presumptive cancer compensation laws because they were being exposed to dangerous chemicals at the Hazelwood mine fire.