All the major bushfires along the east coast of Australia that have raged since last November are finally contained, signalling the end of a tumultuous summer fire season that claimed 33 lives nationwide.
The most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) was the hardest hit, however authorities were happy to report Thursday that bushfire fighters were now standing down.
“Not all fires are out, there’s still some fire activity in the far south of the state but all fires are contained so we can really focus on helping people rebuild,” the state’s fire service deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said on Twitter.
In what has been a very traumatic, exhausting and anxious bush fire season so far, for the first time this season all bush and grass fires in NSW are now contained.
It has taken a lot of work by firefighters, emergency services and communities to get to this point. #nswrfs pic.twitter.com/RhqmcYhJ1j
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 13, 2020
“It is very good news,” a Rural Fire Service spokesman told AFP.
The blazes scorched more than 10 million hectares in the country’s east and south, killing at least 33 people and an estimated one billion animals, while destroying more than 2,500 homes.
Days of recent rainfall have extinguished the largest fires and brought those that remain in the far south of the state under control.
In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) around Canberra, firefighters are still trying to bring one blaze under control, but it was not said to be threatening.
Attention has now turned to tackling flash flooding expected in the coming days following the heaviest coastal rains in 30 years.
AFP contributed to this story