Rains Forecast To Douse Australia Wildfires, Raising Hopes Crisis Over

“SYDNEY – Torrential rain across Australia’s east could extinguish all remaining bushfires in the country’s most populous state by the end of the week, authorities said on Tuesday, raising hopes a deadly national crisis is almost over.

Australia has been battling hundreds of blazes since September in an unusually prolonged summer wildfire season that was fuelled by three years of drought, which experts have attributed to climate change.

Heavy rain and storms have in recent days swept across New South Wales (NSW) state, which bore the brunt of a crisis that engulfed several states and territories at its peak.

The downpour has already doused two of the biggest and longest running blazes and NSW officials are hopeful that more rain forecast for this week will extinguish the remaining 24 fires, four of which are burning “uncontrolled”.”

Colin Packham reports for Reuters February 10, 2020.