Australia — An SMS alert system will be introduced as part of the Ferny Creek siren system this summer.
The new technology will be able to relay basic information about bushfires in the town directly to peoples mobile phones.
Anna-Marie Shew, secretary of the Ferny Creek Bushfire Alert Committee, said the upgrade of the system had been in the works for a number of years and would be another information source to those who wanted it.
She said the technology would be helpful to people working off the mountain that had friends or family at home and wanted to know about the fire danger in their area.
The current Ferny Creek siren system was established nine years ago, after the devastating 1997 Ferny Creek fires where three people were killed and a number of homes destroyed.
Ms Shew said there were three sirens that look like a box on top of a power pole, in different streets in Ferny Creek, that were switched on each year during the fire danger period and on total fire ban days.
Ms Shew stressed the most important thing for people to remember when they heard the siren was to find out more about the fire danger from other sources like the TV, radio or CFA website.
It doesnt mean evacuate, or stay or go, it just means find out what is going on in the area, she said.
The system won praise in the Bushfire Royal Commission earlier this year as an example of community taking responsibility for their own safety.
Ms Shew said the committee was confident in what they provided to the community, but said it was up to all residents to ensure they were fully prepared and had plans for the dangerous fire season.