The state of New South Wales in Australia is now officially free of bushfires after enduring them for over 240 days, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
At least 28 people lost their lives and 3,000 homes were destroyed due to the fires. Over the months close to a billion animals were affected, according to CTV News.
The fire service announced that all of the New South Wales fires were contained on Feb. 13—the first time all season. Now they have all been extinguished.
“For the first time since early July 2019, there is currently no active bush or grass fires in #NSW. That’s more than 240 days of fire activity for the state.” said the NSW Rural Fire Service in a tweet on Monday.
Rob Rogers, the deputy commissioner of the fire service said it was a “truly devastating fire season for both firefighters and residents, who’ve suffered through so much this season.”
New South Wales is located on Australia’s east coast. The state was the hardest hit area in the country.
Torrential downpours helped to bring the fires under control but also brought serious flooding and damaging winds.
Many towns and schools in New South Wales were forced to be evacuated because of the heavy rainfall.
According to the fire service, 30 fires were extinguished in one weekend with the help of the rainfall. They called it the “most positive news we’ve had in some time.”
Every summer, Australia endures a fire season but this one was much more intense due to one of the countries worst droughts on record taking place before the season.
Every Australian state endured the fires but in December, Sydney which is located in the state experienced air quality so bad that it was 11 times what is considered the “hazardous” level.
World Heritage Areas were damaged by the fires as well. Australian authorities noted that the Gondwana rainforest and the Blue Mountains were among these areas.