VICTORIA’S Country Fire Authority incident warning website and it’s app Fire-Ready have both failed to provide users with consistent fire danger information on one of the hottest days in the past year.
The central district, to which Ballarat belongs, was upgraded from a “severe” rating to “extreme” ahead of yesterday, with the temperature peaking at 38.7 degrees in the city.
Luckily the Ballarat region had escaped the total fire ban day relatively unscathed as of late last night, with just a few small fires.
For many the biggest concern was when they went to use the app and website for fire related information and were left in the dark.
A CFA spokesman said users could still access a range of other information sources to combat the communication problem.
“There has been some issues but we’re advising people to delete and reinstall the app which has fixed it for most people,” he said.
“The website is also running slowly, we think it’s a connectivity issue. We’re working with the service provider.
“It hasn’t crashed but we’re advising people to keep trying it but not rely on it.”
Residents can also access CFA fire danger information by listening to local radio, through the CFA’s Facebook page and Twitter account or by calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley yesterday told 3AW the problems had been solved, although The Courier still could not obtain a consistent connection to the website.
“It is good to say that we have fixed it,” Mr Lapsley said. “We have given it the capability fix and we will certainly monitor it all day and increase capability as we go.”
Residents took to the CFA Facebook page to vent their frustration.
One user, Jackson Airey, wrote: “DSE website not responding now. Looks like everyone from the CFA site is now going there. Ever heard of redundancy and load balancing?
“Try Googling those terms - their website doesn’t go down and they have a few more users... Lucky lives don’t depend on this information, oops, they might.”