Residents receive vital Emu Flat flare up alert

The Emu Flat fire from the previous Friday had flared up and with the wind direction and temperature, posed a possible threat to burn into the township.

Unlike the first Emu Flat fire, this time people received an SMS Emergency Alert from the Australian Alert System using the phone number +61 444 444 444.

The Australian Alert System works through the Telstra towers and sends out an emergency alert text message to any mobile phone in the area, even visitors.

The difference between this method and the defunct Alert SA phone app is the Alert SA information came from the SA data base, which was unreliable.

The state duty commander at CFS headquarters decides to send this SMS after analysis of certain situations that impact on the severity of the immediate threat of the fire, such as the temperature, humidity, speed, terrain and of course wind direction.

The alerts will only be approved if they pose a threat to your safety, not to just advise of a fire in your area.

Even though the first Emu Flat fire did threaten homes, the conditions and wind direction did not fulfil the requirements to upgrade the warning from the Watch and Act to Emergency, so no SMS was sent.

The Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council also issued an e-mail version of the emergency alert to the e-newsletter subscribers on Thursday.

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