Tags: Climate Change | Global Warming | australia | brushfire | rain | sydney | wildfires

Rain 'Breaking the Back' of Australia's Brushfire Season

the brushfires in australia rage on with smoke billowing into the sky
(Glen Morey/AP)

By    |   Monday, 10 February 2020 05:00 PM

Officials say Australia's weekend downpour helped extinguish the persistent brushfires that have devastated the country.

"It's breaking the back of this bushfire season, there's no doubt about it," Shane Fitzsimmons, the head of rural firefighters in New South Wales, the state worst hit by the crisis, told AFP.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said 15.42 inches of rain fell in Sydney over the past four days, the highest total in nearly 30 years. In New South Wales, the region saw more than 7.9 inches of rainfall in the past 24 hours.

With the rain came warnings for wind and further flooding, though officials called the weather advantageous.

"This is the most positive news we've had in some time," New South Wales Rural Fire Service tweeted Monday. "The recent rainfall has assisted firefighters to put over 30 fires out since Friday. Some of these blazes have been burning for weeks and even months."

The wildfires, fueled by record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought, have ruined more than 25 million acres and killed 33 people, per AFP. The flames have also devastated wildlife, with one study estimating half a billion animals have died in New South Wales alone.

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Officials say Australia's weekend downpour is "breaking the back of this bushfire season," according to reports.
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Monday, 10 February 2020 05:00 PM
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