(TMU) — Following months of sweltering heat and a severe bushfire crisis that raged across Australia’s coastal regions, firefighters have announced that recent rainstorms have managed to bring all of the country’s fires to containable levels.
The news comes after the country was struck by a historic deluge of rain over the past week that brought much-needed relief to the drought-stricken states of New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory.
While there are still 24 active wildfires remaining in the region, they are now all under control due to the heavy rain.
Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said:
“After what’s been a truly devastating fire season for both firefighters and residents who have suffered through so much this season, all fires are now contained in NSW, which is great news.
Not all fires are out, there’s still some fire activity in the far south of the state, but all fires are contained so we can really focus on helping people rebuild.”
In what has been a very traumatic, exhausting and anxious bush fire season so far, for the first time this season all bush and grass fires in NSW are now contained.It has taken a lot of work by firefighters and emergency services as well as communities across the state to get to this point.We still have some time to go before the end of the bush fire season, so it is important that you and your family have a bush fire survival plan and know what you will do in the event a fire threatens.
Posted by NSW Rural Fire Service on Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Just before the heavy downpour struck last week there were still 61 active fires including 20 which were uncontained.
The country’s brutal wildfires have dealt incredible damage to the country’s flora and fauna, with experts fearing that the country’s endemic local species have suffered astronomical losses.
On Tuesday, authorities released a list of 113 animal species that require “urgent help” after at least 30 percent of their habitat in the country’s south and east was consumed by the fires. The list includes koalas, wallabies, and a range of bird, fish, and frog species among others. Some species are also facing “imminent risk of extinction” due to the destruction of their habitats.
The bushfires were fueled by intense drought conditions that have plagued the east of the country for the past three years. However, nearly 28 inches of rain in parts of the country such as NSW has refilled dams and even overwhelmed at least one.
The Nepean Dam, which lies south of Sydney, is at full capacity and is spilling over into the Nepean river while Sydney’s metropolitan dam system is at 75 percent capacity after it had been sitting at 24 percent prior to the rainfall, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Officials have greeted the news with cautious optimism. Sydney Water’s Peter Hadfield said:
“While we welcome the rain, it’s way too soon to see if there’s going to be a start of drought recovery or a welcome temporary relief from the drought conditions.”