Heavy precipitation has extinguished several forest fires, including one that had ravaged 500,000 hectares of land north of Sydney.
Is this the end of the nightmare fire episode in Australia? The unprecedented forest fire crisis affecting the country should end in the coming days thanks to intense precipitation, likely to extinguish dozens of fires in the south of the country, authorities announced on Monday 10 February.
Several consecutive days of heavy rain have already caused flash floods in the states of New South Wales and Queensland, particularly in areas that have been ravaged by fire in recent weeks.
Sydney has been particularly watered in recent days by the most abundant rainfall it has experienced in thirty years.
The Bureau of Meteorology has announced that 391.6 millimeters of rain had fallen in four days over the largest city in the country, the largest amount in such a period since the 414.2 millimeters which had been recorded in February 1990 .
This flood helped put out several fires, including one that had ravaged 500,000 hectares north of the city.
A motorist swept away by the waves
James Morris, spokesman for firefighters in rural New South Wales, said about 30 fires were still active on Monday, but said they would soon be put out by rain. “It is likely that they will be extinguished by the end of the week,” he told AFP.
A motorist was reported missing in his vehicle, swept away during a flash flood north of Sydney.
The fires occur every year in Australia at the end of the austral winter. But they have been particularly early and intense this year, generating a national disaster that has left at least 33 people dead since September.
Since September, an area of more than 100,000 km 2 , larger than Portugal, has been reduced to ashes and more than 2,000 homes destroyed. Researchers estimate that more than a billion animals have been killed.
This crisis has fueled criticism of the conservative government of Scott Morrison , who is accused of dragging his feet in the fight against global warming so as not to sacrifice the lucrative coal industry, which also employs many Australians.