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Australia's bushfire-stricken east welcomes drenching rain

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Australia's bushfire-stricken east welcomes drenching rain

By Lidia Kelly

 

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FILE PHOTO: A buggy pulls people, sliding around in the mud, as they celebrate the rainfall in Winton, Queensland, Australia January 15, 2020 in this still image taken from social media video. Teonie Dwyer via REUTERS

 

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Intense thunderstorms with heavy rains dampened bushfires on Australia east coast on Friday and brought relief to farmers in three states battling a drought which has left much of the country tinder dry.

 

Australia, famous for its pristine beaches and wildlife, has been fighting bushfires since September, with fires killing 29 people and millions of animals, and destroying more than 2,500 homes while razing an area roughly a third the size of Germany.

 

Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, three of the most affected states, saw heavy downpours of rain which is forecast to continue through the weekend.

 

Fire services said that while the rain will not extinguish all the blazes, it will help greatly to contain them.

 

“Our fingers are crossed that this continues over the coming days,” New South Wales fire services said on Twitter on Friday.

 

While the wet weather brings relief to fire fighters and drought-hit farmers, it also comes with dangers, such as flash flooding and falling trees, many structurally destroyed by the intense bushfires.

 

The storms have helped disperse smoke in Melbourne, which sheathed the city disrupted the Australian Open qualifying matches and other sporting competitions, but winds are set to bring back unhealthy air over the weekend.

 

The smoke haze that has plagued Australia’s major cities for weeks has been tracked by NASA circumnavigating the globe and the space agency satellites showed on Thursday there is also a large concentration of lower smoke over the Pacific Ocean.

 

GRAPHIC: Swirling smoke interactive here

 

Following are some highlights of what is happening in the bushfire crisis:

 

* There were 82 fires burning across New South Wales early Friday, 30 uncontained, and several fires in Victoria, according to fire authorities.

 

* Australia will have to wait until March for rains heavy enough to bring sustained relief from dry weather that has fueled deadly bushfires, the country’s weather bureau said on Thursday.

 

* Australia’s peak tourism body estimated the country’s bushfire crisis has so far cost the industry almost A$1 billion ($690 million). [L4N29L069]

 

* Qualifying rounds of Australian Open in Melbourne, the first tennis Grand Slam of the year, blighted by complaints from players about the pollution.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-17
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Great news with caution.

Some regions local flooding, risk of trees falling on roads due to soil erosion.

Also a report out yesterday that risk of chromium 6 being washed into waterways, naturally occuring chromium3 (harmless) in soil, becomes chromium 6 under heat ( above 200 deg cel) which occurs in bushfires and is extremely dangerous. Further research required 

Fish kills reported in rivers as ash wash off deoygenates water upstream

 

Our tanks are filling we have had 12 hours steady falls. Coastal and inland coastal mainly , drought not over yet. But killing many residual fires 

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Too much rain can be devastating after fires have destroyed all vegetation.

 Montecito in 2018 showed what can happen.

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10 hours ago, Tug said:

Wonderful news!!!

Indeed..I went out and danced in the rain yesterday..my Koori neighbour was doing the same thing.. 😊

 

There are more heavy falls forecast for today..fingers crossed..

Edited by Odysseus123
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Rain...rain!

 

Heavy widespread rain all along the Eastern escarpment and inland too..!

 

My Koori mate and I shared a good joke...

 

"It's you guys doing your corriberee out at Saltwater beach that did it!"

 

Let's keep dancing...

 

We are are going to sink a beverage or two..

 

 

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21 hours ago, Tug said:

Wonderful news!!!

Not so wonderful at all when you see and read the latest news reports.

 

Big pollution of rivers now already started killing and poisoning the fauna and flora underwater.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/17/hundreds-of-thousands-of-fish-dead-in-nsw-as-bushfire-ash-washed-into-river

 

😟

 

But at least some fires will be out.

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