Australians have experienced their first rain in several months (Image: Reuters)
This is the time when Australians celebrated that the much needed rain brought relief to an area affected by drought.
Just 8.8 mm of rain fell in Winton, Queensland, but that was enough to excite the locals and plunge into the mud.
The local resident, Teonie Dwyer, said: “When it rains, whether it’s 2 or 2 inches, it’s very exciting for us.”
He added that the last time the city received the “great rain” was in February last year.
People in Winton have taken full advantage of their fields by becoming mud (Image: Reuters)
Winton has escaped the worst of the forest fires that have destroyed nearly 16 million acres of scrubland, equivalent to half the size of England.
Scientists say the worst fire season ever recorded was exacerbated by climate change and the three-year drought that the country has been struggling with.
Record temperatures and high winds have contributed to the disaster, which has killed 29 people and one billion animals.
Today, rain began to fall in some parts of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland, providing much needed relief.
The Office of Meteorology has said that it will take several months of rainfall above for the country to recover, and that may not really begin until March.
NSW Rural Fire Service teams fight the Gospers Mountain fire when a structure hits Bilpin, in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney (Image: AAP)
Structures destroyed by forest fires are seen west of Parndana on Kangaroo Island, Australia (Image: Getty)
The downpours have offered hope that dozens of fires still on fire can be controlled.
The NSW Rural Fire Service said: alivio Relief is here for several firefighters working throughout the state.
“Although this rain will not extinguish all fires, it will certainly contribute greatly to containment.”
The rain is clearing part of the toxic air that has accumulated over the main cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
New South Wales resident Virginia Connor said: “We are delighted and very relieved to have some moisture in the air because it makes things safe for a while.”
“But we need more, we need much more.”
Parts of New South Wales have been experiencing flash floods (Image: Reuters)
Fires have had a devastating effect on local wildlife (Image: AAP)
More rain is forecast for tomorrow and over the weekend.
If it falls, it would be the most sustained period of wet weather since the crisis began in September.
Usually, the highest temperatures in Australia are in the three months to March, which means that the forest fire disaster is far from over.
The rain is a relief, but the resulting mud could make it difficult for some firefighters and trucks to enter the forests.
Flash floods are another concern, as burned mountains cannot hold water and can send torrents of muddy ashes to waterways.
Just outside the city of Tingha, almost 75 mm of rain fell rapidly.
The owner of the local farm, Steph Stewart, said: “We’ve had floods before, but not for a few years and maybe not so much water, which I can remember.”
Residents of the states of New South Wales and Victoria have been breathing toxic air caused by fires (Image: Getty)
Australia suffers wildfires every year, but they started much earlier than normal in 2019 and have lasted much longer.
Forests and farmland were already extremely dry due to prolonged drought, which laid the groundwork for the fire crisis when extremely hot weather hit long before the beginning of the southern summer.
Australia experienced its driest and hottest year in 2019, with its highest average maximum temperature of 41.9 degrees Celsius (107.4 degrees Fahrenheit) recorded in mid-December.
Scientists have said that such an extreme climate will become the norm worldwide as global warming intensifies.