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Australia Bushfire: Mobile app used by Australians to get wildfire updates likely to be sold

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 January 2020, 12:38 IST

Australians who are getting live bushfire updates on their smartphone likely to be sold as its developer restructured it to cut debt. The app developer also looking to extend the fire application nationally.

The New South Wales fire service’s Fires Near Me smartphone app has become one of the most downloaded apps of the country as 1.6 million users have downloaded the app which is 6 percent of the population, in November and December itself.

The current app version was developed by Melbourne-based tech firm ARQ Group and it is managed by a 55-person support team. However, ARQ has already replicated the system in South Australia, but CEO Tristan Sternson said the app is up for sale amid a company-wide restructure, media reports said.

"We have had quite a few interested parties with either (some) or all parts of the business, and we're just trying to work out the right path forward," said Sternson by phone.

Meanwhile, ARQ is trying to taking the product Australia-wide and Sternson said that the app has been approached by other states.

"If you cross from New South Wales to Victoria, you probably shouldn't have to switch off one app and pick up the next one because you're in Albury or Wodonga," he said, referring to the two cities 8 kilometers apart but in different states.

The app was launched in December. A spokeswoman for South Australia’s Fire and Emergency Services Commission said that they have welcomed the opportunity for a more consistent approach.

However, Victoria’s Emergency Management Victoria was not available for comment.

The app CEO sternson also said that his support team risked exhaustion due to the ‘time it’s been going for’ because the staff has been affected because of bushfires.

Australia bushfires have destroyed 10.3 million hectares of land and killed over 20 people and also damaged over 2,000 homes.

Besides, the wildfire has also affected the flora and fauna in the country.

Meanwhile, many celebs and common people are coming together to raise funds for wildlife protection.

Also Read:  Australia Bushfire: Over 1,000kgs of sweet potatoes, carrots dropped from helicopters for hungry animals escaping wildfires [VIDEO]

First published: 14 January 2020, 12:35 IST
 
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