Australia fires "contained" in New South Wales for the first time this season

By Christopher Brito

/ CBS News

How climate change intensifies wildfires

Fires in the Australian state of New South Wales have officially been "contained" – for the first time this season. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service tweeted out the announcement Thursday, saying it has been "traumatic, exhausting and anxious" bushfire season.

"It has taken a lot of work by firefighters, emergency services and communities to get to this point," the New South Wales Rural Fire Service tweeted.

In what has been a very traumatic, exhausting and anxious bush fire season so far, for the first time this season all bush and grass fires in NSW are now contained.
It has taken a lot of work by firefighters, emergency services and communities to get to this point. #nswrfs

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 13, 2020

Firefighters have spent several grueling months battling wildfires in the region. They recently had an assist from substantial rain in New South Wales. The biggest city in the state, Sydney, saw its heaviest rainfall in 30 years.

Trending News

  • 15th case confirmed in U.S. as China's cornavirus numbers soar
  • Photo of mice fighting on subway platform wins top award
  • Man captures spectacular image of an "angel" in clouds
  • Meet the world's oldest living man
  • Fires "contained" in southeast Australia for 1st time this season

New South Wales deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said now the attention can shift toward helping people start anew.

"After what's been a truly devastating fire season for both firefighters and residents, all fires all are now contained in New South Wales, which is great news," Rogers said. "All fires are now contained so we can really focus on helping people rebuild."

The unprecedented fires claimed at least 33 lives, including several firefighters, throughout Australia since they started in September. They destroyed more than 3,000 homes and burned more than 26.2 million acres, according to The Associated Press.

Researchers feared more than 1 billion animals were killed in the wildfires. This week, Australia released a provisional list of more than 100 animal species that require "urgent management intervention."

The Survivors: Saving Australian Wildlife Following Fires And Drought
A swamp wallaby searches for food in a bushfire-scorched forrest on February 3, 2020 in Braidwood, Australia. John Moore/Getty Images

First published on February 13, 2020 / 10:22 AM

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.