The Country Fire Authority denies bugs are continuing to hamper its trouble-plagued smartphone and tablet application, despite a series of false warnings this week.
With the state approaching a record run of hot and dry conditions, users were troubled on Tuesday night to find a series of incidents reported in fire-hit areas such as Moondarra and Warrandyte.
At one stage the incident map showed fires occurring in the Pacific off the coast of Japan.
Michael Leaney of the Star Hotel in Walhalla said 13 false warnings went out to app users but when he questioned the local CFA captain he was told the fires didn’t exist.
"For us, we’re next to Moondarra so this kind of thing is directly affecting business," he said.
"We are already up against it in terms of people staying away and this kind of thing really doesn’t help."
However, a CFA spokeswoman said the app was working well and the errors were caused after a series of mock incidents were published on the CFA’s website as part of regular maintenance testing.
The spokeswoman said the app was designed to ‘‘mirror’’ what was published on the website and to say it was flawed or bug-prone was ‘‘factually incorrect’’.
‘‘The testing was accidentally uploaded to the live environment instead of the testing environment,’’ the CFA spokeswoman said.
‘‘These mock incidents were removed as soon as CFA became aware of the situation,’’ the CFA said in a statement.
‘‘CFA is sorry for any concern or confusion this might have caused.’’
The Age earlier this year reported the ‘‘real concern’’ held by a veteran CFA firefighter, who would not be named, regarding the fire service’s problems with technology this season.
The authority’s website crashed on days of high demand before the government moved the application and website onto different servers.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley described the earlier meltdowns before Christmas and in the January heatwave as "extremely disappointing".
The CFA recommends using a range of sources for bushfire information, including local radio, television, the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (1800 240 667), social media such as Facebook.com/cfavic and Twitter.com/@CFA_Updates.