Australia’s east is set to receive its most significant rainfall in months this week, bringing some much-needed relief to bushfire-ravaged communities and firefighters.
Rain is expected for much of New South Wales from Tuesday, including firegrounds across the Snowy Mountains, southwest of Sydney and along the south coast, and is predicted to hang around until the weekend.
While drought-sicken Australia has ordered to cull more than 10,000 feral camels because they drink too much water, New South Wales (NSW) is expected to receive its most significant rainfall in months this week, as rain is expected over five days from Tuesday, including in South Coast and Snowy Mountains.
Hopefully everybody is going to dance like those guys back in November 2019, when rains started falling in Rollands Plains in NSW:
Sydney should receive about 2-8mm on Thursday and 5-10mm on Friday. Meanwhile, the Gospers Mountain blaze, which has burned more than 512,000 hectares (1,265,180 acres) during the last two months, has been brought under control by firefighters.
If this @BOM_NSW rainfall forecast comes to fruition then this will be all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding and graduation presents rolled into one. Fingers crossed. #NSWRFS #nswfires pic.twitter.com/R9VfD0bqu2— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 12, 2020
The best-case scenario, with the ongoing showers and storms from Wednesday onwards, is that they can really impact and help to extinguish some of the fires.
With widespread showers and storms forecast for the state this week, if you have tank water you may find ash, dust and other material from your roof washing into your tank. Here's some handy info from NSW Health on rainwater and bushfires: https://t.co/HgWZ8kUxgX pic.twitter.com/xP3zsOVdx5— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) January 14, 2020
But even with showers forecast for today along the northern and central parts of the coast, we still have widespread areas of High and Very High fire danger. Know your risk and what you will do if fire threatens.
Even with showers forecast for today along the northern and central parts of the coast, we still have widespread areas of High and Very High fire danger. Know your risk and what you will do if fire threatens. #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/YhlJc4qYYM— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 13, 2020
What’s actually difficult is to predict where the heaviest totals are going to be accumulated. But at least with this heavy rainfall the ground will be more moist and it’ll be harder to ignite.
There were currently 105 fires burning across NSW as of Monday night.
At 9:00pm there are 105 bush and grass fires burning across NSW, with 38 not yet contained. All fires are currently at the Advice alert level, with no immediate threat to properties. More than 2,250 personnel continue work to make sure that remains the way overnight. #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/9bkvG5SIPX— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 13, 2020
Gospers Mountain Megafire contained
This stormy weather comes as the Gospers Mountains megafire, one of the worst NSW blazes this year, was finally brought under control on Sunday. The containment took longer than expected due to unfavourable weather conditions.
Weather Update: Heavy rain and the potential dangerous impacts to fire grounds in NSW and East Victoria.— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) January 14, 2020
Video is current at 12pm AEDT 14 Jan 2020.
Info: https://t.co/t2CaglH2RW and follow advice from emergency services.#nswfires #vicfires #ausfires @NSWRFS @VicEmergency pic.twitter.com/zQrk6RAa4s
While rain would be welcome at the fire grounds, it may also bring dangers like landslides, rockslides and mudslides to fire-affected landscapes, as lots of soil-stabilizing vegetation was lost during the fires.
Fire Destruction and death toll during Australia fire season 2019-2020
2,136 NSW homes have been destroyed this fire season and more than 1,200 of those homes have burned down since New Year’s Eve. This numbers should further increase.
Building Impact Assessment teams continue assessing the damage to properties. So far 2,176 homes destroyed, more than 25,000 buildings saved. Since 1 Jan, 1,260 homes lost. This figure is likely to increase as teams continue to work through fire affected areas. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/pml0Y2kKmq— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 13, 2020
The national death toll in Australia’s 2019/2020 bushfire season was 27 as of Monday January 13, 2020, with 20 confirmed deaths in New South Wales, 3 in South Australia and 4 in Victoria.