BBC News

BBC News 6 Jan 2020

Australia fires: Rain brings relief but huge blazes expected

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Rain has fallen in fire-ravaged parts of Australia and temperatures have dropped - but officials have warned that blazes will "take off" again.

Sooty rain fell down the east coast, from Sydney to Melbourne, with "torrential" rain reported in some parts of New South Wales (NSW).

Officials said temperatures would soar again by Friday.

They also said huge fires in Victoria and NSW could meet to create a larger "mega blaze".

"There is no room for complacency," NSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Monday.

"This morning it is all about recovery, making sure people who have been displaced have somewhere safe."

Despite the respite, haze pollution remained dangerously high.


Sydney has been hit by its heaviest rain in 30 years, bringing widespread flooding but also putting out two massive bushfires in New South Wales.

Australia's weather agency said 391.6mm of rain had fallen in the past four days in Sydney, more than three times the average rainfall for February.

About 100,000 homes are without power, and officials have warned flash floods could be life-threatening.

But the rainfall means only 17 fires are still burning across the state.
Flood warnings have replaced bushfire alerts in southeast Australia.
The rains in New South Wales are among the heaviest in almost 20 years.
But the combination of fire and rain has sparked new problems.
Al Jazeera's Alexi O'Brien reports.
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