Two massive bushfires in New South Wales have been extinguished by the heaviest rain event in 30 years. The rain has cause flooding in many areas.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said 391.6mm of rain had fallen in the past four days in Sydney, more than three times the average rainfall for February. Many homes are without power and flash flooding could be life threatening.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) on Monday afternoon that the rains had extinguished more than 30 fires over the weekend, calling it “the most positive news we’ve had in some time”.
The latest to be declared out is the Gospers Mountain blaze, north-west of Sydney. Since October it has burned 512,000 hectares and was considered a mega-blaze that was “too big to put out”.
On Sunday, the Currowan fire, around the town of Shoalhaven, was also put out. It had burned for 74 days, destroying nearly 500,000 hectares and 312 homes.
However, the BoM has warned that fire-hit areas can be particularly prone to flooding, and that fast-moving waters can carry large amounts of debris.
Water supplies in the region have also been replenished, after years of drought.
From #NSWFires to #NSWFloods… the state has gone from one wave of extreme weather to another.
In Sydney alone, at least 200 people were rescued by emergency services over the weekend.
“Everywhere has been hit, it’s hard to pinpoint where it’s worst,” said Matt Kirby, spokesman for the State Emergency Services (SES).