All Australian Bushfires in NSW Have Officially Been Contained Thanks to Week of Heavy Rain

Photo by Pablo Anwandter / NSW Rural Fire Service

After months of bushfires raging across the Australian coast, elated firefighters have just announced that they have managed to contain all of the fires.

The exciting news comes after a week of historic rainfall in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Although there are still 24 active fires burning in the region, they are small enough for firefighters to manage accordingly.

“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,” said Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers.

“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.”

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Prior to the start of the downpour last week, there were 61 active fires, roughly 20 of which were uncontained.

Many of the bushfires have been fueled by the drought conditions that have plagued eastern Australia for the last three years.

Thanks to the rain, however, Sydney—which is the largest city in Australia—enjoyed their wettest day on record in about 15 months.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the welcomed rainfall has also helped to refill Sydney’s reservoirs to their highest levels since the drought began in November 2018, with the state dams reporting an average of 75% capacity.

(WATCH the announcement video below)

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Australia Rejoices As Rainfall Extinguishes One-Third of All Bushfires in a Single Day

Firefighters across the fire-stricken provinces of Australia are rejoicing over the arrival of some much-needed rain.

In just one single day, torrential rainfall across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory extinguished about one-third of the active bushfires—and officials say the downpour could put out even more of the fires during the days to come.

Collectively, the rainfall has extinguished 20 of the active fires, leaving 42 fires still blazing across the coast. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, only two of those fires are above the “low-moderate” safety rating.

This is also the largest single-day drop in active wildfires since the fire season began.

Although the downpour has resulted in some flooding across the provinces, the NSW Rural Fire Service says they are “over the moon” to see the rainfall aiding them in their fight against the bushfires.

Many of the bushfires have been fueled by the drought conditions that have plagued eastern Australia for the last three years.

Thanks to the rain, however, Sydney—which is the largest city in Australia—enjoyed their wettest day on record in about 15 months, and weather services are calling for another 350 millimeters of rain this weekend.

According to The Guardian, the last time the city received more than 100 millimeters of rain in a day was back in November 2018.

“It was fantastic to wake up to much-needed rain this morning!” says Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. “Today has already been the wettest Sydney day in 15 months, and thankfully it’s raining across NSW where we need it most.”

The NSW Rural Fire Service says that more than 1,200 firefighters are currently taking advantage of the weather conditions to continue containing the fires while their division simultaneously prepares for the upcoming flood warnings.

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More Than 200 Volunteer Firefighters From US and Canada Have Deployed to Help With Australian Bushfires

Back in 2018 when wildfires were raging through California, 138 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand flew into the United States so they could help combat the blazes.

According to the National Park Service, “the Australian and New Zealand personnel filled critical needs during the peak of the western fire season for mid-level fireline management, heavy equipment, helicopter operations, and structure protection”—and now, the US is repaying the favor.

For the first time since 2010, the US federal government has deployed a team of 100 American firefighters to help with the emergency response crews in Australia—and they are deploying several dozen more volunteer firefighters this week, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Due to extended drought combined with hot and dry weather conditions, Australia has been experiencing devastating bushfires—particularly in the states of New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria—since August.

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The US firefighters—many of whom were part of the firefighting teams in California— have been deployed in several separate teams over the course of the last 30 days. The international relief mission is part of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), the nation’s support center for wildland firefighting. Based out of Boise, the coalition is made up of eight different agencies and organizations including, the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Weather Service, U.S. Fire Administration, and the National Association of State Foresters.

“We’re sending a contingent from several federal agencies that reflects decades of fire management experience,” said U.S. Forest Service Fire Director Shawna Legarza. “We face many of the same firefighting challenges in each country. We’ve utilized their expertise in the past and welcome the opportunity to reciprocate.”

The US is not the only country sending aid to Australia, either—Canada has also sent several teams of wildfire specialists as well, bringing their total amount of volunteers to 87.

According to CBC, this is the first time that Canada has deployed firefighting assistance to Australia, although Canada also benefitted from the firefighting teams of Down Under during the devastating British Columbian wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

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