TORRENTIAL rain lashed Australia’s east coast over the weekend — finally putting out a major fire but causing widespread flooding.
The Currowan fire, which destroyed 312 homes and razed 1.2million acres of land as it blazed south of Sydney for 74 days, was finally extinguished, the New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service said.
But a severe weather warning was in place yesterday along most of the coast in NSW and Queensland, with heavy rain, damaging winds, high tides and strong surf expected.
The State Emergency Service made six flood rescues in one night near Sydney — mostly from drivers stranded in floodwater.
Meanwhile, some east coast towns have had their heaviest rainfall in five decades in recent days. The NSW Bureau of Meteorology warned they were at greater risk of flash flooding and water pollution after the fires. The NSW fire commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, who bade farewell to 21 American and 21 Canadian firefighters yesterday, said he hoped the rain would move inland to douse other blazes.
In an unprecedented season, wildfires have killed at least 33 people and destroyed as many as 3,000 homes.