06 January 2020 06:35
Rain has fallen in parts of New South Wales and Victoria, bringing reprieve to some of Australia's most fire-ravaged towns. There were showers in Eden, in NSW, and Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia on Sunday after a horror weekend for firefighters. It rained in Bundanoon (pictured), in the Southern Highlands region of NSW, on Sunday, with more showers forecast everyday until Friday The Bureau of Meteorology also said it was expecting some showers to cooler conditions across fire grounds in the NSW south. It rained in Bundanoon, in the Southern Highlands region of the state, on Sunday, with more showers forecast everyday until Friday. 'Though not a huge amount, that (rain) should slow down the fires,' duty forecaster Jake Phillips said late on Sunday.
The reprieve comes after the Morton fire, a new front of 400,000-hectares stretching from Batemans Bay to the Southern Highlands, jumped the Shoalhaven River on Saturday evening. But the Rural Fire Service warns the rain won't put out the largest and most dangerous blazes before conditions worsen ahead of Friday's heatwave. Welcomed rain begins to fall on an RFS fire truck on Sunday in Bundanoon, in the NSW Southern Highlands At least 60 homes were destroyed in Saturday's blazes, taking to 576 the number lost since New Year's Eve. Some early forecasts for later in the week show warmer conditions, with warm northerly winds expected to cross the west on Thursday and reach the east on Friday. The cool weather that has also brought relief to Victoria will continue on Monday, with showers expected to give firefighters some respite before the heat returns later in the week. Cann River (pictured on Sunday) and Mallacoota in the far east of Victoria, are forecast to receive a few millimetres of rain An RFS truck travels through town as rain begins to fall on Sunday in Bundanoon, in the NSW Southern Highlands Steady rain over the next two days could help fire crews gain more control over massive blazes ravaging Victoria's east and north east.
More widespread cooler conditions are expected to bring respite to the affected areas, Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Keris Arndt says. 'The conditions are much cooler, moisture's a lot higher than we've seen over previous days and the winds are also easing off a fair bit, especially through Gippsland today,' Mr Arndt said on Sunday. Four emergency warnings remain, with three in East Gippsland and one in northeast Victoria. Rain is due to extend across the state, with light falls of up to 15mm forecast through Gippsland and the northeast ranges during the day. The sprinkling will cover firegrounds up near Mt Hotham as well as fires burning through most of East Gippsland. AUSTRALIA'S BUSHFIRE CRISIS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Evacuations are underway and emergency alerts are in place in NSW, Victoria and South Australia as authorities predict the devastating bushfires will continue burning until at least March. At least 23 people have been killed in blazes across the country since the bushfire season began in October, there are six people still missing in fire-affected regions NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT Two people are unaccounted - one near Bodalla on the South Coast and the other person from Bombala near the Victorian border At least 150 bushfires were burning in NSW on Sunday At least 1,365 homes confirmed destroyed VICTORIA Two people dead, four missing 330 structures confirmed destroyed but significantly more expected SOUTH AUSTRALIA Three people, including two from Kangaroo Island, are dead 45 homes confirmed destroyed WESTERN AUSTRALIA More than 35 bushfires burning, two of significance One home confirmed destroyed TASMANIA 23 bushfires burning, two of significance Two homes confirmed destroyed NORTHERN TERRITORY Five bushfires burning 'The fires up near Corryong in the far north east probably won't see much rainfall today,' Mr Arndt said. Monday is likely to bring similar light steady rain in the same places, with forecasts of up to 15mm through Gippsland and the ranges before clearing up with some finer days ahead. The fire danger rating forecast for East Gippsland (pictured) and the north east of Victoria on Monday is low to moderate, with temperatures of under 20C forecast The fire danger rating forecast for East Gippsland and the north east of Victoria on Monday is low to moderate, with temperatures of under 20C forecast. Emergency warnings are in place for East Gippsland communities in the path of bushfires at Cann Valley and in the Drummer and Merremingger state forests. Early on Monday, more than 130 bushfires were burning across the state, including more than 60 uncontained. Eighteen people, including three firefighters, have died in the NSW bushfires since October. His announcement came as authorities said two more people were missing in remote parts of New South Wales. But the rain was also making it challenging for fire crews to complete strategic burns as they tried to prepare for higher temperatures that have been forecast for later in the week. The Rural Fire Service is warning the rain won't put out the largest and most dangerous blazes before conditions deteriorate again this week. "With the more benign weather conditions it presents some wonderful relief for everybody, the firefighters, the emergency services personnel, but also the communities affected by these fires," Shane Fitzsimmons, commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, told reporters. "It is fair to say it was disappointing and some surprise to hear about these things through public announcements in the middle of what was one of our worst days this season, with the second-highest number of concurrent emergency warning fires ever in the history of New South Wales," he said.