Alarming Absence

EMU Flat and Bennys Hill Road residents believe a major flaw in the alert systems and notifications used in the event of a major bushfire was exposed on Friday.

Last week, 15 local homes came under direct threat from the Emu Flat fire that was luckily contained by the Country Fire Service in the air and on the ground, with assistance from private farm units and residents.

Unfortunately, many homeowners were not told there was a fire at all, with many discovering the threat via social media or other sources.

In the absence of the now defunct Alert SA phone app, many in the affected areas had no idea of the fire’s immediate threat.

The State Government had recently scrapped the Alert SA app earlier this year after citing operational issues but a working replacement isn’t available.

At a community bushfire meeting held in the town hall on Saturday, affected residents explained they only knew the fire was in their area thanks to phone calls from friends or relatives in Clare, or by logging onto Facebook and seeing someone had shared the CFS warning.

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