Sydney, Feb 11 (IANS) The heavy rains lashing New South Wales (NSW) state have led to hopes that all the bushfires in the Australian state could be out by the end of the week, an official said on Tuesday.
Since February 7, parts of the fire-ravaged Australian state have experienced their heaviest rainfall in years, leading to widespread flooding and power outages, the BBC reported.
According to the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), the deluge has extinguished 30 fires, leaving only four “uncontained”. In total, 24 fires remain burning across the state.
“Given the forecast, we should be able to get on top of those relatively quickly and set the fires down,” RFS spokesman James Morris told the BBC.
“We are hoping by the end of the week we may be able to have zero uncontained fires across NSW,” he said.
Nationally, blazes have killed at least 33 people and destroyed thousands of homes.
More than 11 million hectares of land – an area comparable to the size of England – has been affected.
Officials have renewed wet weather warnings for parts of the coast and the neighbouring state of Queensland, but said the heaviest downpours had passed by Tuesday.
Emergency response services in NSW said they had received about 10,000 calls across the state on Monday as wild weather brought down trees, flooded homes and disrupted public transport.
Among the hundreds of rescues carried out, emergency workers saved one man from a flooded river in the state’s north, the BBC report said.
He had been swept away and survived by clinging to a tree for 10 hours.
In another rescue north of Brisbane, a man and woman were saved after they were also spotted clinging to a tree.
They had been swept away from their campsite on a blow-up mattress, authorities said.