Unless you have been living under a rock, you have likely heard about the dangerous wildfires plaguing Australia. Not only has it put civilians in danger but it has tormented Australia’s wildlife and ecosystem.
The fires have been blazing on for the past five months. Firefighters have been working around the clock doing everything they can to keep the fires at bay.
But it finally seems that the country might have caught a break. Thanks to heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and even hailstorms, some of the fires have been put out while others have become contained.
As of Tuesday morning in Australia, the storms have extinguished 33 fires bringing the number of wildfires down from 120 to 87. Any progress is progress. Fortunately, the break in the weather has given firefighters a much-needed rest as well.
Ben Shepherd of the NSW Rural Fire Service spoke with Guardian Australia stating, “They are by no means out. But we have seen a reduction, and it has given some crews a chance to take a break before we see the possibility of fire activity over NSW increasing.”
Another encouraging piece of news is that rain has touched every area of land that has had active fires. This is great for places along the south coast, north of Sydney, and parts of the Snowy Valley as they have had the largest fires.
Some areas, such as Mount Moornapa, received as much as 130mm of rainfall. Bairnsdale received 75mm. Though this is on the high end, other areas have received significant rainfall as well.
One of the benefits of the weather is that areas that were once listed as ‘uncontained’ have been downgraded to ‘contained.’ This means that the firefighters have set up a perimeter that will keep the fire from spreading.
According to Shepard, although the rain is welcome, the firefighters do need the ground to be dry in order to perform certain tasks.
“There are still a number of burning trees and logs that will need attention by crews. And we need it to dry out before we can introduce dozers or backburns on these fires.”
But before too much of a celebration can begin, there is still the risk of the fires starting back up again and even worsening.
“We are likely to see fire conditions once again start to increase towards the end of the week. It is likely we will see fire activity increase over these fire grounds.”
For now, the New South Wales Rural Fire Services (NSW RFS) announced a fire ban “for the South Western, Far Western & North Western fire areas.” A fire ban means that there are to be no open fires.
Total fire bans are now in force for the South Western, Far Western & North Western fire areas. Severe fire danger is forecast. Hot, dry & windy weather will make fires difficult to control. Important that you & your household know what to do if threatened by fire. #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/YXrigwVejr
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 21, 2020
Meanwhile, residents of the fire-laden country, including Russell Crowe, are enjoying the rain and have shared the miracle on their social media accounts. We can’t blame them for their excitement. After all they have been through, they deserve to breathe a sigh of relief.
Even if for a moment.
My place 10 weeks ago after the fire had gone through, and this morning after a big weekend of rain. pic.twitter.com/oOWz0gG5hp
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) January 19, 2020
One user, Dinakar Namburi, compared the amount of rain that they were getting to “koalas and kangaroos.” It’s nice to know the raindrops are that big!
It's raining #Koalas and #Kangaroos in #Australia 🙂. I hope it continues to rain for a few more hours like this so that no other animal has to die! #NSW #AustralianBushfireDisaster #AustralianFires pic.twitter.com/ajvj4Zkvsu
— Dinakar Namburi (@DinakarNamburi) January 16, 2020
One young woman even took to dancing in the rain! “been a while since we last saw rain,” she captioned her photos.
— jess (gem) // CALUM’S DAY (@jessxrubina) January 16, 2020
We sure hope it won’t be as long in the future.
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