'Double-Edged Sword': Bureau Warns Of Risk In Rain Forecast
Firefighters on the east coast are hoping predictions of rain across fire-affected areas will come to fruition over the next week.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting five to 15 millimetres of rain across central and western NSW and Victoria from Wednesday.
The RFS is celebrating the good news, saying "fingers crossed" in a tweet posted on Monday.
"If this @BOM_NSW rainfall forecast comes to fruition then this will be all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding and graduation presents rolled into one," it said.
NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman Anthony Bradstreet said fire conditions are expected to ease throughout the week, with rain on the horizon.
"We would love rain everywhere," he told AAP on Monday.
"Hopefully we will receive some good rainfall in fire-affected areas."
Crews will take advantage of the easing conditions to establish and strengthen containment lines for some 40 bushfires which are not yet contained, he added.
The Bureau of Meteorology told 10 daily a deepening low pressure system will form over the areas in NSW and Victoria on Monday night, drawing in humid air.
Showers may fall from Monday night, but will become more active from Wednesday onward.
There is also the potential for thunderstorms which may see 30 - 50 millimetres of rain fall in those areas.
"But the heavy rain may vary due to the hit and miss nature of thunderstorms," a BOM spokesperson said.
The slow-moving nature of the trough will mean there is a good chance much of the area will receive rainfall.
However, the BOM warned the forecast is a "double-edged sword".
There are concerns the rainfall runoff will contain ash, soil and debris, resulting in increased risk to people in fire-affected areas.
The reduced vegetation from the fires accelerates water runoff and reduces ground absorption, resulting there is a higher risk of landslides.
The ash and debris can also create a muddy sludge runoff.
Strong winds associated with the thunderstorms may also fell trees or break branches that have been weakened by the fires.
But along with the rain helping douse fires, there is the possibility the weather could clear some of the smoke hanging over fire-ravaged areas.