Tags: Rain | Helps | Australian | firefighters

Rain Helps Australian firefighters

Monday, 07 January 2002 12:00 AM

Officials said Monday that more than 2 inches of rain fell Sunday mainly in the Blue Mountain National Park, but the storm didn't hit all fire-affected areas as the crisis entered its third week.

Forecasters said the storm broke an 18-day dry spell. But they warn that high temperatures were expected to return later Monday, bringing strong winds that could start up many of the fires extinguished by the rain.

Meteorologists said temperatures were expected to reach 95 degrees Monday with winds up to 45 miles per hour.

New South Wales Fire Commissioner Phil Koperberg told the British Broadcasting Corp. the strain of battling the 80 fires that continue to burn around Sydney has taken a toll on emergency workers.

"It's our job to manage that fatigue of course, and sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don't quite succeed," Koperberg said. "What we have to guard against is that fatigue leading to something more serious."

The fires have destroyed more than 1.2 million acres of bush land, and destroyed more than 100 homes since they broke out on Christmas Eve. Koperberg said damage estimates so far have been put at $36 million.

Authorities said more than half the fires were started deliberately and have arrested 26 people -- many of them minors -- on arson charges.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Officials said Monday that more than 2 inches of rain fell Sunday mainly in the Blue Mountain National Park, but the storm didn't hit all fire-affected areas as the crisis entered its third week. Forecasters said the storm broke an 18-day dry spell. But they warn that...
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2002-00-07
Monday, 07 January 2002 12:00 AM
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