Australia

For the first time in 240 days, there are no active bush or grass fires in NSW

New South Wales experienced 240 consecutive days of bushfire activity this season. Source: NSW Rural Fire Service

The NSW Rural Fire Service has marked the end of 240 days of fire activity in the state.

After an unprecedented bushfire season, firefighters in New South Wales have hailed the end of a 240-day run of active bushfires in the state. 

The NSW RFS marked the moment with a post on Facebook and Twitter.

"For the first time since early July 2019, there is currently no active bush or grass fires in #NSW," the message read.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said he is relieved that forecast rain over the coming week will provide a further reprieve.

"Nice to see more rain expected right across NSW this week," he wrote in a message posted on Twitter.

"Great for farmers, rural and regional communities, as well as firefighters still working on fires in SE NSW."

Last month, the NSW RFS thanked firefighters with a large billboard message in New York's Times Square.

"Thank you to the brave Australian and US firefighters defending Australia.

"And the world for all your support."

About 2,400 homes were destroyed and 25 lives lost in NSW's worst bushfire season on record.

A public state memorial was held for bushfire victims on 23 February.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons paid tribute to the three RFS volunteers who died fighting the fires: Geoffrey Keaton, Andrew O'Dwyer and Samuel McPaul.

"They died as heroes. Selfless individuals paying the ultimate price, while simply serving and protecting others.

He said the impact of this bushfire season would last for a long time. 

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NSW bushfire victims honoured with public state memorial
NSW bushfire victims honoured with public state memorial

"It is okay to be emotional. We have all been truly affected by this tragedy and the tragedy of this season. And the lives of all involved are affected by these fires have been changed forever.

"This bushfire season has been unprecedented for NSW. It is one in which we will have longlasting memories for people in communities right across the state."

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This NSW town survived bushfires, only to face floods
This NSW town survived bushfires, only to face floods

Bureau of Meteorology head of climate monitoring Karl Braganza said Australia had warmed by about 1.4 degrees Celsius while the rest of the world had increased by 1.1C.

"Australia warms slightly more than the global average," Dr Braganza told a Senate estimates committee in Canberra on Monday.

When temperatures across the rest of the world increase by 3.4C on average - which was estimated in a recent report - Australia is projected to be closer to 4C, he said.

BOM chief Andrew Johnson said Australia was expected to become drier and warmer, which would see the risk of severe fire weather continue.

It comes as BOM confirms the recent summer was Australia's second hottest on record.

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