FIRE authorities are being forced to waste precious time and resources investigating bushfire hoaxes and false rumours spread on social media by trolls and misinformed internet users.

The Country Fire Authority says it is increasingly having to verify and correct false reports of bushfires circulated on Twitter and Facebook, as more people take to social media to find emergency information.

The problem has prompted state fire services commissioner Craig Lapsley to issue a tough warning to internet trolls and hoaxers interfering in firefighting efforts that they will be "traced, tracked and dealt with".

"Fire Trolls", Sunday Herald Sun, Page 1, January 27, 2013. Click here to read the article online.