Australia is known to be a land of extremes.
After months of fires in Australia that left at least 28 people dead, about 3,000 homes destroyed and up to 1 billion animals affected. The Rural Fire Service reported that all bush and grass fires across New South Wales are now contained for the first time since the bushfire season began.
The heavy rains over the last weekend gave firefighters the upper hand and helped extinguish the 24 fires still burning in the state’s south.
The rain put out 30 fires on the weekend, RFS reported earlier this week. However, it also caused devastating storm damage and widespread flash flooding.
A 75-year old man is reported to have died due to the flash flood in Queensland.
Some towns in Australia have gone from drought to flood in a day as heavy rain has fallen in New South Wales, and parts of Queensland.
Some farmers who were hit by extreme drought said they have had their best rainfall in a decade, while emergency authorities warned of “life-threatening” flash flooding.
Since Friday, Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, has been drenched by almost 400mm of rain. That amount usually falls over four months, and more downpours are expected later this week.
While there was still some fire activity in the south of the state, said the RFS, emergency workers could now “really focus on helping people reboot”.
The land down under has always had a fire season, with naturally occurring blazes sparked during the dry summer season, but this past year’s season has been unprecedented in the scale and intensity of the fires.
The Australian bushfire crisis began in September.At least 33 people have been killed, thousands of homes destroyed left millions of animals affected.
The Environment Department this week released a list of 113 species considered to be at risk, including 13 birds, 19 mammals, 20 reptiles, 17 frogs, five invertebrates, 22 crayfish, and 17 fish species.
New South Wales has been the worst-affected state by the bushfire. Two blazes alone – the Currowan and Gospers Mountain fires – each burned about 500,000 hectares.
But both were declared out after rains earlier this week, along with dozens of smaller fires.