Fires contained in hard-hit Australia state, but now floods threaten

SYDNEY: All the blazes in Australia's hard-hit state of New South Wales have been brought under control, firefighters said on Thursday (Feb 13), signalling the end of a "black summer" that claimed 33 lives nationwide.

But heavy rains that helped extinguish the blazes that have raged along the east coast since September are causing flash floods in parts of the state, posing new problems for some residents.



"Not all fires are out, there's still some fire activity in the far south of the state but all fires are contained so we can really focus on helping people rebuild," the state's fire service deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said on Twitter.

The Australian bushfires raged for months, devastating tens of thousands of hectares (Photo: AFP/PETER PARKS)

"It is very good news," a Rural Fire Service spokesman told AFP.

Bushfires scorched more than 10 million hectares in the country's east and south, killing at least 33 people and an estimated one billion animals, while destroying more than 2,500 homes.



READ: In fire-hit rural Australia, climate debate burns deep

READ: Forget a new normal: Experts say Australias worst bushfires still lie ahead

The crisis cloaked major cities including Sydney in smoke for weeks on end, saw towns cut off and prompted the deployment of the military to rescue stranded citizens.

Beleaguered volunteer firefighters have fought the blazes day-in-day-out in what has been described as Australia's "black summer".

The fires were exacerbated by prolonged drought and worsened by climate change in the country's hottest and driest year on record.


Days of recent rainfall have extinguished the largest fires and brought those that remain under control.

In the Australian Capital Territory around Canberra firefighters are still trying to bring one blaze under control, but it was not said to be threatening.

Attention has now turned to tackling flash flooding expected in tRead More – Source

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