Torrential Rain Has Helped To Put Out Most Of The Bushfires In NSW
As NSW copped a record-breaking soaking on the weekend, many were left asking ‘has it helped our firefighters?’ The Rural Fire Service has confirmed it absolutely did.
More than 30 fires that have been burning across the state have now been extinguished thanks, in part, to the torrential rain, that saw more than 300mm fall in some areas of the state.
"This is the most positive news we've had in some time," the RFS said on Monday.
"Some of these blazes have been burning for weeks and even months."
There are now only 17 fires still burning across NSW, Emergency Services Minister David Elliot confirmed, with six of those at advice level.
"Despite the fact is has caused damage, it has provided us with a significant amount of relief and the RFS is hopeful by the end of the week the last of those fires will be extinguished," Elliot told reporters.
"This having been a very traumatic time for those that have been affected by the rains and flood, the silver lining is that we might see the end to this six-month firefighting campaign.
The RFS said since Friday alone the rain had extinguished seven of the biggest blazes the state has seen, including the Gospers Mountain blaze which formed part of a 'mega-blaze' north-west of Sydney that had been burning since late October.
The fires that were extinguished on the weekend are the:
- Gospers Mountain (Hawkesbury)
- Myall Creek Road (Richmond Valley)
- Erskine Creek (Blue Mountains)
- Kerry Ridge (Green Wattle Creek)
- Green Wattle Creek (Morton)
- Morton (Wingecarribee)
- Currowan (Shoalhaven)
Together those fires had burnt through a total of more than 1.5 million hectares of land, the RFS said.
On Saturday, the organisation said it had officially set the status of the Currowan Fire in the state's south to 'out'.
That fire had burned for 74 days, destroyed 312 homes and damaged a further 173.
It spanned from one end of Shoalhaven to the other, burning out a total of almost half a million hectares of land.
"1,889 homes were saved by firefighters," the RFS said.
On Monday, the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed torrential rain across the east coast of NSW had delivered 24-hour totals in excess of 200mm between Sunday morning to 9 am Monday.
The central and southern coast copped the heaviest downpours, with "multiple locations" receiving in excess of 350mm in a single day.
The heaviest falls were recorded in Shoalhaven, with 433.5mm falling in one day at Brogers Creek and 418.6m recorded at Wattamolla.
Up north, the Hawkesbury region also recorded heavy falls including 397.2mm at Robertson, 387mm at East Kangaloon and 305mm at Oakdale.
The rain at Hawkesbury was so severe on Sunday, it prompted evacuation warnings for the Hawkesbury River and residents in the North Richmond Lowlands.
A number of severe weather warnings remained in place across the state on Monday afternoon.