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A 'welcome forecast' to bring rain to state's firegrounds, Sydney basin

Abiba

Jan. 15, 2020

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In a rare and welcome sight, the fire danger rating map for Thursday is a sea of green across NSW, with each major fire area around the state receiving at least 10 to 15 millimetres of rain.
Only five of the state's 21 fire areas rated higher than "low-moderate", which is the lowest possible rating during fire season. There are no total fire bans in place.
The Bureau of Meteorology said some areas may receive up to 100 millimetres of rain, with showery conditions expected across most of the state until Monday.
"We're looking at roughly 30 to 60 millimetres through the Sydney basin across the next few days," said meteorologist Olenka Duma.
While heavy rain is expected, the bureau said it would be "very hit and miss" where we saw the highest totals.
"Across the south-east districts, we're looking at 30 to 50 millimetres, with Thursday being the day they'll expect the most rainfall," Ms Duma said.
The South Coast has been ravaged by bushfires in the past few weeks, with millions of hectares burned and hundreds of homes lost.
"While it will be enough to see us stop doing backburning, it's probably not enough to extinguish all the fires, but it will give our firefighters a break," Rural Fire Service spokesman Ben Shepherd said.
"We'll assess once we've had that rain and make a determination of any new containment strategy."
Mr Shepherd said it was a "welcome forecast" over the next couple of days and it was equally important that no extreme heat conditions were expected after the rain passes.
"Over the next seven days, we don't really have any 'blow up' fire days expected," he said.
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There were just over 100 fires burning around the state on Wednesday, but none were higher than "advice" level as of 5pm.
"We're likely to see at least 10 to 15mm across all our firegrounds in the state," Mr Shepherd said.
Some areas will see much higher rainfall totals due to storms.
"Generally if storms are very slow-moving they'll just latch themselves on to some higher terrain, and just sit there for a few hours," Ms Duma said.
"That's probably more likely over the north-east, but also a possibility in the south-east."
From Thursday to Monday, the rain will be fairly consistent before NSW looks set to dry out again.
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