A 500,000 Hectare South Coast Fire Is Finally Out, And Firies Are Celebrating
Finally some good news -- the Currowan fire, which destroyed 312 homes, has been extinguished after burning for more than two months.
The Currowan fire has been burning in the Shoalhaven region, on the NSW south coast, since November. It was sparked by a lightning strike, and despite the best efforts of teams of firefighters, it raced through the whole region, spanning the length of the Shoalhaven and burning into other nearby regions.
After razing a shade under half a million hectares, the Currowan fire has now officially been declared as 'out' by the NSW Rural Fire Service -- and people are paying huge tribute to the firies who beat the blaze.
"As of 8pm tonight, the Currowan Fire burning in the Shoalhaven has been officially set to out," the RFS wrote on Facebook on Saturday night.
In just 12 hours, the post was liked more than 21,000 times.
"The fire, which spanned for 74 days, burnt out 499,621 hectares and spans from each end of the Shoalhaven Local Government Area, as well as spreading in to neighbouring areas including Eurobodalla, Wingecarribee and Queanbeyan Palerang," the RFS said.
More than 300 homes were destroyed and another 173 damaged. But the RFS praised the "tremendous work by firefighters and residents" which saw nearly 1900 more homes saved from the fire.
More than 2000 people commented on the post, with an overwhelming outpouring of gratitude and congratulations to the firefighters involved.
"Congratulations to the amazing effort put in by all the heroes involved - RFS, Fire and Rescue, Police, Ambulance, SES, Traffic Controllers and the public and whoever else I've missed," wrote one man.
"So glad the demon has been put to rest. Let's hope the same goes to all the other fires that are still burning."
Another person wrote "we salute you all, cry with you all for your loses, cry for the loss of lives...incomprehensible."
"I’m so thankful for the rain, and so thankful for our firies and those emergency workers who also put their life on the line in recent months. Hopefully some respite now," wrote another.
"Oh my goodness! I just cheered reading this! The absolute devastation, the mammoth effort by so many, now a time to reset, rebuild and hea," said one woman.
The Shoalhaven has been the beneficiary of massive rain which has lashed much of NSW in recent days. More than 100mm of rain has fallen in the region in the last three days, helping damp down the last remnants of the fire.
As of 8am Sunday, there were still 38 fires burning around NSW.