Has heavy rain, flooding, stopped bushfires?
Hundreds of millimetres of rain have drenched the NSW coast, sparking warnings of high winds, “life-threatening” flooding and landslips as the state faces its most torrential downpour since 1998.
Some areas across the state recorded more than 300mm of rainfall within 48 hours, with Bureau of Meteorology acting NSW state manager Jane Golding warning the situation would only intensify on Sunday.
On Saturday night, RFS confirmed that the massive Currowan Fire has been extinguished after burning for more than 70 days.
“As of 8pm tonight, the Currowan Fire burning in the Shoalhaven has been set to out,” NSW Rural Fire Service announced on Facebook on Saturday night.
The blaze burnt for 74 days and across 499,621 hectares, spanning right across the region and spreading to neighbouring councils including Eurobodalla, Wingecarribee and Queanbeyan Palerang.
A total of 312 homes were destroyed and 173 were damaged
But with it still comes risk.
“The fire damaged areas will bring extra risks as the heavy water and floods move through (with) more likelihood of fallen trees and more run-off,” SES commissioner Carlene York said.
AAP reports there are still currently 38 fires burning across NSW.
Nevertheless, locals on the NSW south coast are applauding the efforts of emergency services following the news.
“Tremendous work by firefighters and residents saw 1889 homes saved,” the RFS said.
Locals expressed their thanks to those involved in battling the blaze. Almost a dozen fire trucks took a lap of honour at the Nowra Showground on Saturday night.
“Crews from (NSW RFS) and (Fire and Rescue NSW) were asked to close off the 2020 Nowra Show last night. Thank you to everyone who came out,” the station brigade posted on Facebook.
Footage posted to the Shoalhaven RFS Facebook page shows crews tooting their horns and blaring their siren to applause from the crowd.
“Officially extinguished!,” Shoalhaven City Council posted on its Facebook page on Saturday night.
“We want to thank all emergency services and for their hard work and putting their lives on the line to help our community.”
It comes as Emergency Services Minister David Elliott and RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons were expected to farewell Canadian and American firefighters who helped battle the NSW bushfires.
A farewell event was planned on Sunday morning at the Novotel Sydney Airport. Three United States airmen were killed in a firefighting plane crash in southern NSW last month.
Captain Ian McBeth, first officer Paul Clyde Hudson and flight engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr died when their waterbombing tanker crashed northeast of Cooma on January 23.
A memorial service was held for the men at the Richmond RAAF base on January 30 before their bodies were flown home.
A total of 39 fires are still burning across NSW on Sunday.
“Good rainfall is being recorded in parts of the state, with a hope it continues to drop where needed most,” the RFS posted on Twitter on Friday.
“The rain is good for business and farms as well as being really good for quenching some of these fires we’ve been dealing with for many, many months,” the commissioner told ABC TV on Friday.
“We don’t want to see lots of widespread damage and disruption from flooding, but it is certainly a welcome change to the relentless campaign of hot, dry weather.”