Although the rains have brought some respite to the firefighters, it also comes with risks like landslides and lightning that may start more fires.
After several months of wildfires and drought, Australia is experiencing its first real rainfall. The fires destroyed close to 17.9 million acres. Fires across the nation have destroyed more than 3,000 homes, killed at least 28 people, and over one billion animals since September. Severe thunderstorms have been reported in some areas of Australia, bringing some relief to the firefighters who have been battling the worst fire the country has seen in decades, reports CNN. "Our fingers are crossed that this continues over the coming days," the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) said Friday in a tweet. These heavy rains in the New South Wales region have helped extinguish around 32 bushfires, bringing down the total number to 88 from 120 as of Thursday morning, according to Daily Mail.
I'm in the Manning Valley which was hit by #AustralianBushfiresDisaster in November (and ever since), near the town of Bobin which was destroyed.— 💧 Mark Anning 🔥🔥🔥 (@1EarthMedia) January 16, 2020
Today's #SydneyRain is very welcome here. Its raining cats & dogs = I'm out jumping in poodles (dad joke)
Have a great day 😅 pic.twitter.com/VQtXj1UbBV
New South Wales is expected to receive another 30 to 80mm of rain over the next few days, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Greater Sydney will receive less rain, but the precipitation has already helped to decrease the smoke that had been looming over the city. The rains were a reason for fire services across Australia to take to Twitter to celebrate, with New South Wale's service calling it a "relief." "Relief is here for a number of firefighters working across NSW," they wrote on Twitter.
"Although this rain won’t extinguish all fires, it will certainly go a long way towards containment. This footage was captured down at the Good Good Fire burning near Cooma." Earlier, the force took to Twitter to intimidate them about the rains that were about to pour. They wrote: "We wanted to reintroduce you to a couple of items that you may not have used in some time. With more than 100 fires still burning across #NSW, we are hoping we need to use both of these over the coming days. #NSWRFS #nswfires," along with a picture of windscreen wipers and umbrellas.
Relief is here for a number of firefighters working across NSW. Although this rain won’t extinguish all fires, it will certainly go a long way towards containment. This footage was captured down at the Good Good Fire burning near Cooma. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/fxV9u2hN6K— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 16, 2020
Storms that came along with the rain have reportedly started two new fires in Victoria’s Great Otway national park, on the state’s south coast. The Victorian Country Fire Authority also said that the rain “unfortunately had minimal impact in suppressing the fire activity across east and north-east Victoria”. There could also be other problems like landslides, and lightning could start more fires, warned Kevin Parkyn, senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology.
Thank you for your heroic and ongoing work in the face of these hellish fires. So sorry that poor resourcing has left you stretched so thin. Condolences for all the losses and heartache. Praying that more rain will come.— Crying shame (@Cryingshame5) January 16, 2020
"Thunderstorms, a bit of a two-edged sword. While they can bring some much useful rain, it can also come down in pretty fast, high quantities," Parkyn said. "There's high concentrations of ash, very vulnerable landscape when it comes to short bursts of heavy rainfall - which could see very quickly mudslides developing." It has been warned that around the South Coast and Southern Tablelands could receive up to 30mm of rain, so their fire service has issued warnings of landslides and flash flooding.
Thank goodness for the rain and a massive thank you to all the firefighters risking their safety everyday to keep people, animals and homes safe. Thank you so much! ❤❤❤— Amy Jean 🌹 (@anomalyjawn) January 16, 2020
"While the rain is welcomed, heavy rainfall and storms in fire-affected areas can lead to dangerous conditions such as a higher risk of flash flooding, falling trees, and landslips," assistant commissioner Paul Bailey said. "In areas impacted by fires where vegetation has been destroyed, water from heavy rainfall can flow into riverbeds and we could see run-off in areas we wouldn't normally, resulting in flash flooding. The NSW SES is also asking residents in fire-affected areas to watch for possible landslips as the ground and roads can be damaged, therefore creating a higher risk of a potential slip." Here's hoping that the rains will bring some more respite to the people in Australia.
A relief that it's raining and may it pour down even more for you all. All of you are amazing and I'm sure all of Australia will agree for you all to receive awards. Thank you so much.— RuskyKookla (@KooklaRusky) January 16, 2020