Residents fear lack of internet during fire risk

AN EMU Creek resident says she has been left in the dark on bushfire updates after losing internet service for close to a week.

Kate Ballantyne said she has been without internet access at her Red Tank Road home since last Tuesday night.

She said she and her partner John were particularly worried when a fire was sparked by a lightning strike last Thursday in Axe Creek, about five kilometres from their home.

"My partner actually drove to the fire station to find out what was going on after we saw the smoke," she said.

"It’s concerning not being able to keep up to date with the CFA website.

Everyone is nervous because of the fire risk - Kate Ballantyne

"It’s that lack of information about knowing what is happening that makes it hard. Everyone is nervous because of the fire risk and the winds coming through with the cooler change."

Telstra's northern Victoria general manager Steve Tinker said two properties in Red Tank Road were affected by the outage.

He said the cause of the issue was still being investigated.

"We don't quite know what the fault is just yet," he said. 

"We will get onto it first thing this week. 

"We want to apologise to the customers affected."

Mr Tinker said it had been a "chaotic" week due to the heatwave conditions and fires around the region.

Ms Ballantyne said she has set up her bushfire plan and would continue to closely monitor conditions through other media. 

She said her smartphone has been unable to access internet to use the FireReady app.

"Ordinarily it probably wouldn’t be a major thing (to have no internet). But with the fire risk it gives added concern. It's frustrating not knowing when it will be back on."

Axe Creek CFA captain Neil Dusting said 10 trucks and aerial support had helped contain last Thursday's fire before it could threaten properties.

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