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CFA website and FireReady app experience issues on total fire ban day

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 4 January, 2013 - 10:37 AM
CFA website

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley says the capability issues which faced the CFA's website and FireReady app this morning have been a 'key learning' about how the influx of people wanting fire danger information need to be handled.

Speaking with Justin Smith, Mr Lapsley said the issues facing the FireReady app, which was reporting incorrect fire danger information, and slowness on the CFA website have since been rectified.

"We've got the capabilities being tested, what we didn't have was the agility this morning to ramp it up quick enough," he said.

"That's the lesson out of today...and I'll take that away as a very strong learning today about how we make sure it's agile enough to build it upa nd we don't wait for surge capacity before we do so."

However users have still been reporting issues with both the website and app throughout the day.

The Baillieu Government has denied funding cuts have lead to the website being unable to cope, with Acting Premier Peter Ryan saying the CFA site is receiving 700 hits a second.

Mr Lapsley said the number of people using the FireReady app was placing a strain on the efficacy of the website, causing it to run at 98 per cent usage this morning. He said the latest testing showed the CFA's advice and warnings was now able to be accessed in six seconds.

"It's telling us that people are actively going to seek information which is good," he said.

Earlier, Victorians took to Twitter and Facebook to report slowness and issues with the Country Fire Authority's website and 'FireReady' app on a day of total fire ban and expected temperatures of over 40°.

The CFA tweeted they recommended people who have the FireReady app already installed delete and reinstall the app.

Listen to 3AW for the latest fire danger information


App users have reported the showing of incorrect fire danger ratings, with a display of 'no rating' on a map of Victoria instead of the 'severe' and 'extreme' fire warnings which have been issued around the state.

The CFA have asked people to email firereadyapp@cfa.vic.gov.au should deleting and re-installing the app not rectify the issue. 

Several visitors to the CFA website have reported to 3AW they are unable to access the web page. 

"I've tried accessing various parts of the website, nothing loads. Will keep at it," Twitter user Rhys Trevithick said.

"Cfa website completely down this morning hopefully its back up soon not sure if its just a lot of traffic!!" Facebook user Kylie Dawson said.

The CFA have tweeted they are aware of the issue and are working to fix it.


A 3AW listener has also noticed the FireReady app incorrectly places the location of north-east Victorian town Wangaratta.


Screenshot of Wangaratta's placement on FireReady app. (Photo: Supplied)


Actual location of Wangaratta. (Photo: Google Maps)

LISTEN: Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley with Justin Smith:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • I have had the same issue today the 19th Jan 2013 with false warning and freezing up of theAndroid App. I have now uninstall the App. I will now see if I can get an email warning instead from Cfa website.

    Clement Berlouis Saturday 19 January, 2013 - 12:09 PM
  • To Crikeym8. The government/CFA have the responsibility of making sure that such a crucial service works the way it is supposed to. That includes testing the efficacy of the system under peak load. If there was no-one in the government/CFA who even thought of testing this, and relied on the word of a service provider, then we're in even bigger trouble than we think. Crickeym8...the only person who would defend the government/CFA and attempt to blame someone else, would be someone who is part of this mess....would that include you???!!!

    Eddy Sunday 13 January, 2013 - 11:42 AM
  • The app is good, but the slowness to connect reduces any benefit. We are talking 4-6 minutes to update after receiving a "fire in your area" notication. That is of no use. Please fix. Great idea, poor execution

    Rhonda Tuesday 8 January, 2013 - 1:38 PM
  • Blame the data centre, Those bitching and blaming the government need to either shut up or educate themselves. The server housed at data centre was either not capable or overloaded with other web services. I wonder what is actually running on the CFA server.

    Crikeym8 Monday 7 January, 2013 - 8:53 AM
  • Stop blaming the government for web site issues.I can bet you a mill $$ that whoever leased the government a server didnt explain its capabilities. I can tell u right now, not one website in this country has the bandwidth to cope with numerous persistant connections.

    Crikeym8 Monday 7 January, 2013 - 8:47 AM

    IAN Saturday 5 January, 2013 - 4:06 PM

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